Our Statement: In the Aftermath of the 2016 Election, What It Means to Be WA Charter Supporters

As the dust continues to settle from the national election, we want to take a minute and define what it means to be a charter school supporter, particularly here in Washington state. Voters in this state, along with our elected representatives, have created one of the strongest charter laws in the nation – one that focuses first and foremost on closing the opportunity gap in historically underserved communities. As a direct result of this focus, charter public schools in Washington predominately serve students from low-income communities, students of color, English language learners – many of whom are immigrants, complex learners, and LGBTQ students.

We value an excellent public education, and we believe that every student in this state deserves access to a public school – charter or traditional – designed to meet their individual needs, opening the door to success in college and career. For us, being a charter supporter means supporting the students served by charter public schools, not just the system that allows those schools to exist. We engage in this work because we fundamentally believe that each student is capable of success. WA Charters fiercely condemns the threats to anyone’s civil rights, hate speech and fearmongering that have increased since the election. Harassment of any child is unacceptable in every form.

We will continue standing up for all kids, not just the more than 1600 attending our public schools in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane. We expect no less of President-elect Trump and his administration, including newly appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Every student attending a public school, irrespective of their race, gender, disability, family income, or immigration status, should be valued for the unique contributions they make to their school community. We urge President-elect Trump and Secretary DeVos to join us in condemning the hateful language and acts of violence and intimidation at public schools across the country which have been exacerbated by campaign rhetoric.

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