The Capitol Record

Washington Supreme Court won’t reconsider charter school ruling

Washington Supreme Court

The Washington Supreme Court released an order Thursday saying it will not reconsider its September ruling invalidating the state’s charter school law.

The court ruled Sept. 4 that charter schools are unconstitutional and cannot receive public money because they are not “common schools” governed by elected school boards. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and a number of other charter school advocates asked the court to reconsider.

Voters approved charter schools through a 2012 initiative. Nine charter schools are open in Washington.

Read the court order here.

Hours before the Supreme Court released its order on Thursday, dozens of charter school students, parents and administrators appeared before a state Senate committee asking for legislation that would allow the schools to continue operating in Washington.

Several students told legislators at a Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing that they are excelling in charter school.

Katie Wilton, a ninth grader at Summit Olympus in Tacoma, said she was “shocked and devastated” to learn her school could be shut down. “We must fix this mess,” she said.

Other students said they appreciate the racial and cultural diversity in charter schools, the flexible learning environment and supportive teachers. Administrators for Summit said they pay their teachers slightly above the public school rate for that district and provide annual four percent pay raises.

TVW taped the hearing. It will be posted at this link.

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