Our Top Advocacy Priorities
Washington’s charter public schools attract and serve disproportionately high percentages of Global Majority students (i.e., students of color) and students from low-income households, and they also serve high percentages of students who receive special education services and Transitional Bilingual students. However, charter public school students receive up to $3,000 less per student each year than their peers who attend traditional public schools. The average student at a Washington charter public school receives 25% less in funding than a student at a traditional public school.
Because charter public schools educate a higher percentage of systemically underserved students, this funding gap means fewer resources for students who need that funding most. This is fundamentally unfair.
MORE TIME TO OPEN SCHOOLS
State law allows for up to 40 charter public schools to be established over 5 years. This five-year window is coming to a close in 2021, and we need the legislature to extend it.
Extending the five-year authorizing window would provide additional time to fulfill the intent of the legislature and the voters, and would expand opportunities for systemically underserved students.
Unlike traditional public schools, WA’s charters do not have dedicated funding for facilities. As a result, about 10% of charter budgets, intended to support teaching and learning, go to facilities.
Together with other public education advocates, we are passionate about improving special education services for all students in our state who qualify for them.
How are Washington's charter public schools held accountable?
Charter schools are public schools that are granted additional autonomy in return for additional accountability. They must:
- Comply with most of the same accountability, oversight, and transparency laws applicable to traditional public schools
- Be approved through a rigorous application process to assure the highest-quality schools
- Be overseen by a local school board or a state commission
- Demonstrate success and high-performance
- Be reauthorized after five years and can be closed for poor performance.
- Submit to the most important and direct form of local control –keeping parents and students satisfied.