Charters fix is easy; political will needed to do what’s right

A bipartisan group of legislators announced Thursday new bills that would allow public charter schools to continue receiving state funding. Although our state’s charter schools law was passed by the voters in 2012, the state Supreme Court declared their funding structure unconstitutional because they received money from the state’s common schools fund. That was a […]

Dem support for charter schools is growing

Hundreds of eager young students in bright T-shirts descended on Olympia two weeks ago to stick up for their charter schools. They met with legislators and testified in committee with smiles on their faces, but they carried a serious message: help save our charter schools from oblivion. Later that day, the state Supreme Court did […]

Redo needed on charter schools ruling, all five state Attorneys General agree

This week, all four living former state Attorneys General joined together to deliver a simple message to our state Supreme Court: justices need a “redo” on their ruling against charter schools. Together this bipartisan group – myself, Chris Gregoire, Ken Eikenberry, and Slade Gorton – represent 44 years of service leading the state Attorney General’s […]

Seattle is failing minority kids, despite progressive reputation

Quick, which Washington city is the most racially diverse? If you said Seattle, well, good guess, but no. It’s Bellevue – a formerly surprising fact that’s getting less surprising as the area realigns its expectations about our region. But here’s a fact that may surprise you. “White kids in Seattle are almost ten times as […]

Unanimous: five Attorneys General think court got charters case wrong

I strongly disagree with the state Supreme Court’s ruling that our voter-approved charter schools law is unconstitutional. The court needs to reconsider its decision, which was not well reasoned, threatens programs beyond charter schools, and relies on a pretty outmoded concept of our school system that dates to 1909. Our “common schools” look quite different […]

Charter schools can be saved, despite court ruling

Last week the state Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that funding for our state’s voter-approved public charter schools is unconstitutional because the Court’s majority believes they do not fit the definition of “common schools”. The court released its decision late on Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, which Shawn Vestal of the Spokesman-Review called “the time […]

Eight new charter schools in Washington – some hope they’ll fail

Eight new public charter schools are opening their doors in Washington. That has a lot of families celebrating, and with good cause. Public charter schools offer approaches to instruction for students and families for whom traditional public schools haven’t been a good fit. These new options are courtesy of voters, who approved charter schools by […]

Taking the “charter” out of public charter schools

Our state’s voter-approved charter schools law was passed to give some families not well-served by traditional public schools other models to better meet their kids’ needs. The initiative was a limited toe-dip into different educational options. The very idea of charter schools is that they’re allowed to operate under their own unique “charter,” based on […]

WA’s first charter school opens – WEA would stop it if they could

Yesterday was a day to celebrate in Washington. Our state’s very first charter school, First Place Scholars Charter School, opened its doors Wednesday morning with a unique mission to help kids with some real challenges, including homelessness. First Place’s big day comes almost two years after voters passed our charter school law by initiative. For […]

Shelley Redinger: A Bright Light for embracing charter schools

Washington’s new charter schools law is an exciting opportunity to provide a different learning experience for communities that need it. Many of the larger school districts in the state have been wary of embracing the law and going through the challenge of setting up the first charter schools. The Spokane School District and its new […]