Our Statement on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ Visit to Washington State

For Immediate Release | October 10, 2017

This week’s anticipated appearance of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in Washington has engendered passionate conversation. In light of this, WA Charters would like to offer a few words reaffirming our organization’s commitment to all public school students.

“Providing a high-quality public education to our students is our top priority and we care deeply about the education of all Washington state’s students. Public charter schools in Washington state are nonprofit organizations that are accountable to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Board of Education and the communities they serve. They are tuition free and accept all students including those with special needs. We believe that every student in this state deserves access to a public school designed to meet their individual needs. We do not support nor does Washington law allow for a privately operated voucher system.

In Washington state, we have the benefit of one of the strongest charter public school laws in the nation. Our law is specifically designed to serve students who are systemically underserved, and it ensures that charter public schools are held to a high level of accountability in exchange for flexibility to innovate and personalize instruction to meet students’ diverse learning needs.

Washington’s charter public schools serve a majority of students of color, a majority of students from low-income households, and high percentages of students who are English language learners, are homeless or housing insecure, and have complex learning needs.

WA Charters advocates for excellent public education and expanded public school options for families through a public charter school sector. However, we do not support a school choice agenda that has the effect of helping some students at the expense of others, nor cuts to federal funding for traditional public schools that stand to have long-lasting and negative consequences for students, families, and communities in Washington and across the country.”