WA Charters takes the audit findings around the issue of certification for 26 Summit public school teachers in 2019-20 very seriously. By law, charter public schools in WA are required to be staffed by certified teachers with the same limited exception that applies to all public schools. Summit was in process of applying for appropriate Washington state certification; however, they omitted the important step of also obtaining temporary, emergency or substitute certificates. Summit is working with the State Charter School Commission and OSPI and strengthening its systems.
At present, 289 of 289 teachers across all 16 charter public schools in Washington—including Summit—hold valid teaching certificates. Importantly, Washington’s charter public schools continue to serve the students that the legislature intended for them to serve, including disproportionately high rates of BIPOC and low-income students. Per 2021 standardized test results, Black students, Latinx students, low-income students, and students with disabilities attending charters are demonstrating higher rates of proficiency in ELA, math, and science exams, as compared to peers in respective subgroups statewide.