Tuesday, September 08, 2015

WASHINGTON STATE’S CHARTER LIMBO: More on that charter schools ruling.

from Politico Morning Ed | By Kimberly Hefling | by email

Sept 8, 2015  10:05 AM EDT ::  : More on that charter schools ruling. [http://politico.pro/1O9cX4a].

The Washington State Charter Schools Association and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools have asked Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session. One of his spokesmen told the News Tribune in Tacoma over the weekend that the governor still needs to discuss the ruling with the state attorney general and the commission that oversees charter schools [http://bit.ly/1ipkmQK]. “It’s all new,” the spokesman said. “The opinion needs to be analyzed. ... Nobody has an answer yet.”

The state charter school association says eight charters enrolling 1,200 students opened this fall, and all plan to have their doors open Tuesday [http://bit.ly/1M6Vlqg]. (The state’s first charter school opened in 2014-15.) The association notes that the court’s decision doesn’t specify what happens to charter schools already open, instead sending the case back to the King County Superior Court “for an appropriate order.” One other charter school opened last year. “If the governor does not call this session, he will be failing the Washington families who made the choice to enroll their children in public charter schools. We hope and expect the Governor will do the right thing for these students and families,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

The ruling was praised by the Washington Education Association and other groups that sued over the law, saying it illegally robbed traditional public schools of taxpayer dollars.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-education/2015/09/final-days-for-perkins-210099#ixzz3lBFQ3jGe

1 comment:

Robert D. Skeels * rdsathene said...

Generally, there is no such thing as a "public" charter school. Both existing case law and public policy have long established the logic for the Washington State Supreme Court holding. The California Court of Appeals (2007-01-10) ruled that charter schools are NOT "public agents." The 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals (2010-01-04) ruled that charter schools are NOT "public actors." The National Labor Relations Board joins a host of other government agencies that have unequivocally ruled that that charters are "private entities."

By definition whether a charter is run by a for-profit firm, or a (501c3) non-profit, then it is not public. The United States Census Bureau frames this issue best: "A few "public charter schools" are run by public universities and municipalities. However, most charter schools are run by private nonprofit organizations and are therefore classified as private." (US Census Bureau. (2011). Public Education Finances: 2009 (GO9-ASPEF). Washington, DC: US Government Printing O ce. Print. vi).

Because these lucrative charter schools are not public, and are not subject to public oversight, they are able to get away with violating the constitutional rights of their students. The decision in Scott B. v. Board of Trustees of Orange County High School of the Arts saw Rosa K. Hirji, Esq. write: "The structures that allow charter schools to exist are marked by the absence of protections that are traditionally guaranteed by public education, protections that only become apparent and necessary when families and students begin to face a denial of what they were initially promised to be their right." It's time that we shut down the profitable charter school industry and divert our attentions to improving our public schools.