The May 17 state Supreme Court hearing on the charter school case captured the attention of media statewide. Here is a roundup of key coverage on the latest legal milestone, including several strong editorials from major statewide newspapers, calling for an end to the legal attacks on charter public schools and families.
Charter school supporters have had to defend themselves in court — again. Back in mid-May, the state Supreme Court heard arguments over a lawsuit that challenges the law that authorizes the schools, which won voter approval in 2012. Frankly, the latest legal arguments against the schools don’t rate a passing grade.
It may surprise you to know that the debate over whether or not Washington state charter schools are constitutional still isn’t over. Voters approved an initiative in 2012 that allows up to 40 charter schools in Washington state. The state became the 42nd to allow them. In 2015, the state Supreme Court ruled charter schools were unconstitutional. However, the Legislature came up with a workaround: fund the schools with state lottery revenue instead of from the general fund.
Editorial: End legal fight over charter schools so focus can move to education | The Seattle Times | May 17, 2018
Washington’s public charter schools are flourishing, with 2,400 enrolled and promising early indications of student success. But a shadow remains over these schools. And the Supreme Court should put a stop to it.
State Supreme Court weighs validity of charter school law | Associated Press | May 17, 2018
Hundreds of charter school students rallied at the state Capitol on Thursday as the Washington Supreme Court considered arguments that could threaten to close their classrooms. Jalen Johnson, an 11th-grader at Summit Sierra charter school in Seattle, told the crowd that the commitment of his teachers helped turn him from an average middle-school student who had little thought of attending college to a thriving high-school junior who hopes to study urban planning at the University of California at Berkeley.
Fate of Washington’s 11 charter schools in hands of State Supreme Court | KIRO 7 | May 17, 2018
The Washington State Supreme Court is set once again to decide the fate of charter schools. Students and supporters of the state’s 11 charter schools packed the chambers on Thursday to hear the arguments. The lawsuit from La Raza, the Washington Education Association, and others claims charter schools are unconstitutional.
Give charter schools chance to succeed | Walla Walla Union-Bulletin | May 21
[Paywall] The charter school experiment in Washington state — and in Walla Walla — must continue so more students have a chance to find approaches to education that work for them, and the public has an opportunity to properly measure their success.
Charter Schools Round 2: Court questions oversight, teacher pay | The Spokesman-Review | May 17, 2018
Former state Attorney General Rob McKenna said it shouldn’t matter that charter schools aren’t under the control of the locally elected school board. The Legislature has the power to create special types of public schools, like the School for the Blind or the aviation school, that aren’t under local control.
Patrick D’Amelio, CEO of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, said he has “great confidence” that charters will receive an affirmative ruling. “The charter law was set up to close gaps,” D’Amelio told The 74. “The kids we are serving are kids from low-income households, they come to our sector behind academically, and are showing great progress. When I think about what’s at stake, I think about how this is going to impact them.”