Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oppose Public Charter Schools

The League of Women Voters of Washington State opposes Public Charter Schools, for the following reasons:

Private boards selected by non-profit corporations rather than publicly electedby citizens will govern charter schools. Voters will lose their right to elect (orunelect) representatives to oversee the spending of their taxes.

Charter schools will be exempt from state statutes and rules applicable toschool districts and boards, creating a separate and unequal school systemeven though Article IX of the Washington state Constitution requires a generaland uniform system of common schools.

The Initiative would create additional administrative functions and costs for theState Board of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and School Districts at a time when the Supreme Court has ruled in McCleary v. State that Washington is failing to provide ample funding for the basic education required by the Legislature (HB 2261).

Although proponents of the Initiative promise “at risk” students and those from low-performing schools will be served by charter schools, nothing in the Initiative requires it.

There are many successful innovative and alternative schools as part of thepublic school system in Washington state. Let’s encourage them and worktoward full funding for all students in all schools rather than be distracted bycharter schools that would only serve a few students chosen by lottery.

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