16,550 Supporters and Counting in Campaign to Keep Public Charter Schools Open

For Immediate Release | February 11, 2016

Campaign to Keep Washington’s Public Charter Schools Open Continues to Build Momentum


OLYMPIA Act Now for Washington Students—the student and parent led coalition to keep Washington’s public charter schools open and serving diverse communities—continues to build momentum, with a base of supporters that has grown to more than 16,550.

The ongoing campaign is reaching voters across the state through mail and television advertising, online engagement, and social media. Thousands have signed up to stand with Washington’s public charter school families through an online petition and on the Act Now for Washington Students website. New supporters join each day.

In response to the overwhelming support, Act Now for Washington Students released the following statement:

We are honored by the thousands of people willing to lend their name and take action to help prevent Washington’s public charter schools from closing. Every day, more people realize that these schools are making a huge difference for communities in desperate need of high-quality public schools. To truly close the opportunity gap for all Washington students, we need more great schools, not fewer. That is why thousands of Washington families and voters are calling on legislators to keep public charter schools open.

Students at Washington’s public charter schools are making impressive gains in reading and math. According to mid-year assessment results, some already have grown multiple grade levels.

Legislation (Senate Bill 6194) to save Washington’s public charter schools passed with a strong majority and bi-partisan support in the Washington Senate. The Washington House of Representative will consider a companion bill (House Bill 2367) in the coming weeks.

Students, parents, and supporters of Washington’s public charter schools will continue ramping up their campaign to ensure legislators hear their voices ahead of the crucial House vote.
About Act Now for Washington Students

Act Now for Washington Students is a student and parent led coalition founded in partnership with Democrats for Education Reform, the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children, the Washington State Charter Schools Association, and WA Charters Action, and is dedicated to ensuring that parent, student and voter voices are elevated in the fight to keep public schools open and serving students.About Washington’s Public Charter Schools  Washington’s public charter schools are helping to close the education equity gap. More than two-thirds of students in public charter schools are from low-income households and more than 70 percent are students of color. Allowing public charter schools to close down will disproportionately affect families who turned to charters because their child’s needs were not being met. The state’s existing public charter schools were created after voters passed a law in 2012 calling for more public school options for Washington families. In some communities, traditional public schools are meeting the needs of local students. But in other communities – particularly communities of color that struggle with poverty – they are not. In Washington, African American, Latino and Native American students are scoring between 15-20 percent lower on state assessments. According to mid-year assessment results, students at Washington’s public charter schools are making impressive gains in reading and math, with some already having grown multiple grade levels in half a school year.