The Washington Post reports that the New Orleans school district will be all charter next year.
No matter what you think about charter schools, think about this:
What is the role of a school district when it does not actually operate any schools?
In this situation, the district pretty much becomes a charter school authorizer.
The Board could continue in its role as a policy-making body. They can still set curriculum and graduation requirements, but they are freed of their property management work and textbook approvals. This would be a pretty big change for Seattle's Board, who spend more time on property management than anything else and do almost no policy or curriculum work.
What about the central administration staff? In an all charter district their role narrows to policy enforcement and quality assurance. They give up their responsibility for HR, facilities, professional development, and finance. They retain some legal work, I presume, as well as some vestigal accounting and reporting duty, but the entire Teaching and Learning department goes away just like HR and facilities.
I guess you could say that whatever work is left for a school district when the schools are gone is the most essential work of the district. Here's the funny thing: Seattle Public Schools has this responsibility of policy enforcement and quality assurance, but they don't do it. Not at all. All of their other work could be delegated to the schools. This is their only indelegable work, yet they simply neglect it.
I'm not saying that I want Seattle to become an all-charter district. I'm saying that I want Seattle Public Schools to do their policy enforcement and quality assurance work.