WEA files lawsuit against voters’ choice

charter-schoolsWashington’s public charter schools law is a smart, targeted, and voter-approved approach to help kids who are stuck in underperforming schools or need an alternative approach to rise above their circumstances. While the law is a clear win for kids, among the adults in the education system, the issue comes down once again to the matter of control. That’s why the WEA, the state teachers union, has filed suit against our new public charters law before it even has a chance to work.

You hear a lot of euphemisms in education reform debates. In this case, the WEA would have you believe that their desperate attempt to stop public charter schools is about “local voter control.” It’s not. It’s about their control. Dick Davis wrote the spot-on column below, and I agree with his conclusion:

“In a column last November, I asked whether charter school opponents remained intransigent because they believe the schools will fail, or because they fear they might succeed. With this lawsuit, the opponents answer the question. They can’t abide competition and choice.”

— Rob McKenna

Last-gasp suit over charters waste of time

The education obstructionists are back. The establishment forces aligned against reform filed suit in King County Superior Court July 3 to block the charter school law approved by the voters last November. Losers litigating has become a staple of initiative battles here.

Back in February they asked the attorney general — I say asked, they called it a “legal demand” — to start proceedings against the law, citing seven putative constitutional violations. Attorney General Bob Ferguson, noting that it’s his job “to defend the will of the voters,” declined the invitation. He’ll now defend the law in court.

The demand turns out to have been a rough draft for the challenge filed last week. Predictably, the plaintiffs — prominently including the Washington Education Association and Washington Association of School Administrators — claim the charter school act diverts money from the public schools. They also raise objections to charter school governance and collective bargaining provisions.

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Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.