Harris introduces bill on charter school administration

Feb 2, 2020 | Blog

State Rep. Paul Harris is hoping that a bill he introduced last week will improve success of charter schools.

On Jan. 30 House Bill 2853, primarily sponsored by Harris, R-Vancouver, was heard in the House Committee on Education. The bill’s main focus was allowing the Washington State Charter School Commission to hire an executive director, who in turn could hire staff, to carry out commission duties, a Washington State House Republicans release stated.

The release stated that conversations about charter school success last year in the education committee, of which Harris is a member, spurred on the legislation, noting that two of the state’s schools have failed. Currently nine charter schools are in operation in Washington State, according to a bill digest.

Harris stated in the release that “we all learn differently,” wondering if he himself would have had more academic success when he was young if he had a chance to attend a charter school focused on the arts.

“Sometimes, in our lives, I think we’re set up for failure and we’re not able to completely operate the way that we should,” Harris stated in the release.

The bill is intended to allow the commission to have that necessary operational control, the release stated, by ensuring that the “right people” were in place to help charter schools succeed.

“We have many different pathways for students to learn,” Harris added in the release. “This is just another pathway, but I think we need to look at it and make sure that we set it up properly.”

As of press deadline the bill was scheduled for a vote in the House Committee on Education on Tuesday, Feb. 4.