Update at 4:40 pm: I still think the trend is not enough to say No to 1240 but it will end up being as close as it can be. At this time the Yes has dropped to 50.78% and No is at 49.22%, a difference of 1.56% and less than 42K.
From their press release:
After comprehensively reviewing ballot returns to date, The YES on 1240
Coalition announced today that Initiative 1240, the Washington Public Charter Schools
Initiative, will be approved by a majority of Washington voters. With over 2.6 million votes
counted, Initiative 1240 is leading with 51% of the vote.
According to Washington state law, election results will be officially certified and Initiative 1240
will take effect on December 6th. The initiative calls for members of the Washington State
Charter School Commission to be appointed within 90 days of the effective date of the law.
This is to be expected. What is really troubling is the "FAQ" they published (and let me just state that their previous FAQ on 1240 had 4 FAQs and no real info on 1240 so it's fascinating they wait until AFTER the election to publish any real info).
From this we glean:
The State Board of Education’s (SBE) role is to authorize school
boards wishing to authorize quality public charter schools in their
The SBE is also responsible for, among other things, overseeing the
performance and effectiveness of the authorizers it approves;
establishing the annual statewide timeline for charter school
application submission and approval or denial; establishing an annual
application and approval process and timelines for school boards seeking
to become charter school authorizers; specifying the annual report
timeline, content and format; and conducting special reviews where there
is evidence of persistently unsatisfactory performance on the part of
The State Board of Education must develop, allow for public comment
on, and adopt rules governing its role concerning public charter school
Did you see the Charter Commission in here anywhere? Of course you didn't.
How long does the State Board of Education have to develop
and adopt its rules?
By March 6, 2013 — 90 days from the election certification date of
Dec. 6, 2012.
But here's the really big stuff:
The founding members of the Washington Coalition for Public Charter
Schools are the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children,
Democrats for Education Reform and the Partnership for
Learning/Washington Roundtable. These founding Coalition members are
convening a small implementation working group; bringing in national
experts to discuss – with the founding Coalition members, the
Commission, stakeholders from low-income communities and communities of
color, and the State Board of Education – implementation lessons and
technical assistance; engaging in discussions with state and national
funders interested in supporting implementation; and leading ongoing
advocacy and communication efforts.
What is disturbing here is that they are including the Commission. Why would the Commission listen to any group more than any other group including taxpayers and parents? And, it's okay to develop a coalition but read this thing - it does sound like people who believe they are now large and in charge. They are NOT.
Consideration is also being given to setting up a charter school
incubator to help guide development and recruitment of charter school
providers; provide technical assistance to potential applicants; build
local supply of charter school leaders, educators, and boards; share
parental engagement and involvement strategies; provide guidance and
support to ensure charter-district collaboration; and provide
best-practice information, resources and contacts to interested parties.
That last paragraph? Here's what they meant to say:
The Gates Foundation will be funding help to those charter groups that THEY want to come into the state.
Yes, this is the beginning of the takeover of public education in Washington State. Those last two paragraphs from the FAQs prove it.
No one on not on that list will be allowed in and most of those on the list are there as window-dressing.
I plan on writing my state reps and telling them that this is not right.