Senator Tom certainly had a lot to say including:
- "It's another option" - again, not a pilot program but a law.
- He stated that the bill was written "tightly" - It's not so tight if the word used most in the oversight sections is "may"
- He spoke of charters doing well that "operate in the projects".
- He also that the Legislature heard from voters that they don't want more money going into the system without change. I would love to see some numbers on that statement. Not that I don't think that may be true, I'm just wondering how many people actually said it.
- When asked if this issue should go to a vote of the people, the Senator said that education is not something "we gamble on." We vote on serious issues all the time. I have to wonder what his line is between what voters should decide and what the Legislature should decide.
- He again made the claim that there was no money coming out the education budget for this. That's may be true but there is NEW spending in this bill and no matter how he, LEV, Stand or anyone else try to dodge that issue, it's the truth
And, there are no guarantees that the majority of charters will even be for educationally disadvantaged students. They could be but this legislation does not explicitly say that charter schools are only to be enacted for educationally disadvantaged students.
Tomiko Santos was less expansive than Tom.
- She said that, in her committee, the bill did not have the votes to pass out of the committee.
- Her concern is that this bill is only help for some children and would not be available to all children throughout the state. To fact-check that statement, it's true in that it is very unlikely that any charters would be in rural areas and even go state-wide but it is possible.
- When asked about Ramona Hattendorf's statement for the Washington State PTSA that it wasn't fair that two people could curtail the dialog on charters, Tomiko Santos pointed out that they had a dialog on their committee and a full public hearing that was well-attended.
- She also pointed out that they have a budget deficit and that this legislation would divert precious dollars. She's right on that point.