Sunday, September 06, 2015

Charter Commission Not Waiting to Talk

The Washington State Charter Commission will not be waiting for their next regularly-scheduled meeting on September 17th to talk about the Supreme Court ruling on the charter school law.

Special Commission Meeting (Agenda)
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 │ 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

This will be a Special Meeting that will be accessible by the telephone
Dial-In Telephone Number(s):
U.S. and Canada: (800) 245-9874
Access Code: 7784207

OPEN SESSION – Wednesday, September 9, 2015 (Telephonic)

1.CALL TO ORDER 9:00 a.m.
1.1Roll Call
1.2Agenda Review

2.EXECUTIVE SESSION

3.DISCUSSION REGARDING SEPTEMBER 4 SUPREME COURT DECISION

4.COMMISSION ADJOURNMENT 11:00 a.m.

Commission Members:

Trish Millines Dziko, Dr. Stacy Hill, Kevin Jacka, Dr. Margit McGuire, Raymond Navarro, Dave Quall, Steve Sundquist, Cindi Williams, and Larry Wright.

Contact:

Colin Pippin-Timco, Executive Assistant
Office: (360) 725-5511
Email: colin.pippin-timco@charterschool.wa.gov

Accessibility: This meeting is accessible to persons with disabilities. Special aids and services can be made available upon advance request. Advance request for special aids and services must be made no later than 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 8, 2015. If you wish to receive general information about this meeting, please contact the Executive Assistant at (360) 725-5511. Please call 711 or (800) 833-6388 to reach the Washington State Relay Service for deaf callers. If you need assistance due to a speech disability, Speech-to-Speech provides human voice for people with difficulty being understood. The Washington State Speech-to-Speech toll-free access number is (877) 833-6341.
































49 comments:

Anonymous said...

The statement below is from the Washington State Charter Commission. Dated today. I boldfaced the piece that seems to be laying the grounds for the 20 day deadline for asking the WA Supreme Ct. to reconsider. No doubt that motion will be filed. After a year of deliberation, however, it's hard to see on what grounds it would change its opinion, especially with a 6-3 decision, which is not close to a "split court: ruling.

EdVoter

The WA State Charter Commission is deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling declaring public charters in our state unconstitutional. The negative implications of this ruling are compounded by its dreadful timing, this past Friday, as close to 1000 of our state’s most at-risk students in eight charter schools are just beginning their school year. Principals and teachers and community leaders have worked tirelessly over the past two years to open their doors and now they are being told to close. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the entire law was unexpected. The Court said that public charter schools cannot receive “common school” public funds because they are not overseen by elected boards. Public charter schools are, however, overseen by non-profit boards as well as by the Commission, which is appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House.



The Commission’s first responsibility will remain the students and families that it serves. We are exploring every available legal option, and we will be working on a concurrent track to ensure that each of our schools has a plan in place to ensure that its students’ needs are met. The Supreme Court’s decision will go into effect in 20 days if a motion to reconsider is not filed.



This is a difficult time for the voters who supported the Charter School initiative, and for the community of educators, community leaders, and philanthropists who have given tirelessly to provide an additional option to parents and students who were seeking one. The Commission is incredibly proud of the community of public charters schools that now exist in Highline, Kent, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Walla Walla. Our heart goes out to them as they struggle to make sense of the Supreme Court’s decision and how to best serve the students and teachers in their care during this time of uncertainty.

Anonymous said...

Translation of the following:

" Public charter schools are, however, overseen by non-profit boards as well as by the Commission, which is appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House."

Neither the non-profit board members nor the members of the Charter School Commission have been elected by the public.

Exhausted Mind

Melissa Westbrook said...

" The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the entire law was unexpected. "

What!? Court rulings go two ways and anyone who doesn't realize that is a child.

The Yes on 1240 had lawyers - good ones, they told us - who vetted this initiative. If those lawyers did not cross-check the intitiative with the state constitution, that's on them.

No, once again, they gambled and lost.

Exhausted is right except that not all charters are/will be overseen by the Commission. Those that are authorized by school districts (Spokane) are overseen by them BUT not their elected school boards.

Anonymous said...

What is this, MW is name calling now?

Tick Tock

Anonymous said...

As the inundation of verbiage descends upon us...
A little history here:

Do not forget that I-1240 barely squeaked by 50.69% for and 49.31% against.

From Ballotpedia: "The group that was in favor of the measure, and who submitted the initiative, was a coalition that included the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children and Democrats for Education Reform."

Aren't all three of those funded by the Gates Foundation?

How many members are in each of those?
When did each of those organizations begin?

Maybe they needed support from an organization of Constitutional lawyers.
Apparently neglected to either consult with or buy them.

Inquiring Mind

seattle citizen said...

Oh, Tick Tock, calling someone who doesn't think a child isn't name calling! Geez....

Tick Tock, certainly coincidentally, is the name of a Peter Pan character whose sole purpose in the play is to threateningly, obsessively, follow another, more articulate character around.....
Speaking of children, Tick Tock was even more frightening a character to kids than Captain Hook.

Anonymous said...

The charter trolls are active. Might they have their undies in a bunch because now their private schools won't get public funds? I got a wave of Stand on Children propaganda. Not sure how I ended up on their list given that they thoroughly disgust me with their hypocrisy and lies and astroturf, but oh well...
Now can we just get on with real work of fixing the issues in public education (like funding!) and leave this BS privatization distraction behind?

CT

Melissa Westbrook said...

Calling someone who seems to lack the ability to comprehend adult issues a child is name-calling? C'mon.

I note that there is now some petition to "Save WA Charters" and Eric Pettigrew has tweeted that he is asking the Governor to save the charters. (I note he didn't say how.)

Yes, I do sense some desperation here and I'd be desperate, too. Charter pushers thought that maybe the Court would split the baby on the lawsuit (I thought that was a possibility as well) and now they are shocked to find out it was possible to throw the whole thing out?

I do not sense a big mass push for this from the public - there are other issues out there and, as well, these schools have been open ust three weeks. How do you justify doing anything for them without a calvacade of criticism over McCleary/I-1351?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Meanwhile over at LEV, they are strangely quiet. Not a tweet, not a peep. (Although their fearless leader has an op-ed in the Times urging the Legislature to fully-fund McCleary.)

It's all pretty confusing.

Anonymous said...

@ Melissa:

The LEV lack of communication is no doubt LEV leader and co. on holiday hiatus coupled with the fact that they need the Gates people to return from their own holiday hiatus so that the LEV people can have words inserted into their mouths for mass distribution to the robocall list.

Hey, maybe a call-in internet conference on the subject, just like their current "what to do during a strike!" teleconference offer.

Geez LEV, in Melissa's phrasing, "Do try to keep up." If charters aren't available to LEV, what will they ever do with all that Gates grant money/ priority setting/action plans? I think I sniff a doubledown on PreK and perchance Seattle mayoral control of SPS.

NoCharters who is feeling a tad-snarky pre-Labor Day as s(he) considers the neverending labor of the SPS teaching corps

Anonymous said...

@Melissa says:

"I think I sniff a doubledown on PreK and perchance Seattle mayoral control of SPS."

Bam--you nailed it.

We need to be on our game with these potentially looming issues.

AS

Watching said...

"The group that was in favor of the measure, and who submitted the initiative, was a coalition that included the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children and Democrats for Education Reform."


Translation: Korsmo, MacFarlane and Campion.

Gates has provided LEV with millions of dollars for charter expansion. I agree- they are awaiting BMGF to weigh in.

The Washington State Charter Association is campaigning and they are shamelessly using the faces of children to do so. Look at the board and you will see the same faces: Kathy Binder (LEV) and she has contributed $100K to DFER's PAC, Korsmo, MacFarlane, Jim Spady and a few others. The same people keep pushing Gate's agenda.

Ebenezer said...

It may be that charter supporters actually thought the Supreme Court would uphold the law, though it doesn't seem logical. But it's obvious they were in a hurry to get charters up and running before the Court decided. Then,when the Court struck the initiative down, they'd mount a large PR campaign to get the Legislature to step in, casting current charter school students as the victims.

They've got Gates money, plus the Seattle Times to campaign for them, so while I'm doubting they'll be successful in the short term, it's possible. They could come back with another initiative or simply keep browbeating the Legislature, and work to get rid of those against charters. I wish reformers would focus on the state meeting McCleary funding requirements, instead of obsessing on charters and making schools testing factories, but not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

At minimum, a charter system has to exist in an environment of adequate and equitable funding. The legislature hasn't solved that yet, and, special ed and ESL is underfunded, which is a glaring underfunding problem, which should be sent to the courts. No unfunded mandates, solve that first.

Until all mandates are funded, and all per pupil spending for special ed and ESL is in specific buckets, the per pupil stipend is an accounting fantasy.

The charter school per pupil stipend must take a deduction for special ed, ESL, and unfunded mandates that the common schools pay for. And, they must pay a stiff penalty for any students they send back to the common schools, the safety net of last resort for the students the charter schools refuse.

-NNNCr

Anonymous said...

Washington Policy Center statement dated September 5

State supreme court embarrasses Washington state by denying charter schools to low-income, minority and immigrant children

Right before the start of the Labor Day weekend, the state supreme court, in a 6-3 decision, declared unconstitutional the voters’ charter school law, passed in 2012. With this decision, the court has denied public funding to the 1,300 children enrolled in Washington’s 9 charter schools, cancelled the opening of more charter schools, and hurt the children and families with the least political power and influence in our state. Washington Policy Center calls upon the Governor and other legislative leaders to make the technical fix required to restore public funding to charter schools.

Washington state has been accused in the past of being a “backwater of education reform.” This decision, funded by the powerful state teachers union, provides more evidence of the accuracy of this observation. Powerful interests in Washington state are determined to block innovations and improvements to the heavily unionized, monopoly school system.

Charter schools are the most promising and popular education reform Washington has seen in decades. Charter schools are growing by leaps and bounds in 41 other states because they are very popular, especially with low-income and minority families. Because demand for charter school slots in Washington is so high, most of the new charter schools opening this year had to conduct lotteries to select their students.

While professing to care about the education of children, this court has unjustly decided to hurt the children with no political power, the very children most hurt by low-performing public schools.

The majority based its decision on a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization of how the legislature funds traditional public schools. The six justices argue that because, in their view, charter schools are not common schools, they are unconstitutional because they divert funds restricted by the state constitution for common schools.

Yet, as the minority opinion points out, the legislature abandoned the use of restricted funds for public schools long ago. Funding schools from restricted funds is now extinct, a relic of the distant past. Schools receive their operating funding from the state general fund, which is not restricted by the constitution for use on only common schools. In fact, the general fund already funds other uncommon school programs, like Running Start, a program that funds the community college tuition of high school students. As the minority opinion points out, new uncommon educational opportunities for children, like charter schools, can receive funding from the unrestricted general fund.

(continued)

Anonymous said...

... continued

The state legislature must act decisively to correct this shocking injustice to the students and voters of Washington state, handed to us by six justices of the state supreme court.

In the meantime, the doors to Washington's 9 charter schools will open to students as scheduled next week. By contrast, traditional public schools in Pasco and Seattle may not open because of ongoing or threatened teachers strikes, disrupting the education of 70,000 students.

This report is part of WPC's Charter School Follow-up Project


Bewildered Mind

Anonymous said...


Maybe as a gesture of goodwill, the legislature and the Gates foundation can split the bill and pitch in 7 million each to keep the doors open for the year.

-NNNCr

ConcernedSPSParent said...

Maybe the Charter Commission should step up and accept responsibility here. They gave the green light to open the schools knowing full well there was a huge legal question mark over charters in WA and had no plan B. Will Steve Sundquist and the rest step up and accept their role in this mess?, I will not hold my breath

Anonymous said...

Is there any where that shows the demographic and socioeconomic make-up of Washington's charter school student population? Are Washington charter school student populations largely low-income, immigrant and minority? I have no idea - but the only people I know personally with a student at a charter school don't fall into those categories.

tami

Anonymous said...

Huummmm.... Steve S and the commission accept responsibility for moving forward when the light was not green... not likely.

Much easier to be like WPC and blame the Supreme Court for unjustly hurting the children.

Bewildered Mind

Melissa Westbrook said...

On the WPC piece,

- With this decision, the court has denied public funding to the 1,300 children .." That number has steadily climbed from 1,000 to 1200 and now 1300. No one truly knows how many kids were enrolled? Hmm

- "This decision, funded by the powerful state teachers union, provides more evidence of the accuracy of this observation. Powerful interests in Washington state are determined to block innovations and improvements to the heavily unionized, monopoly school system. "

You know, it's one thing to say that the WEA has put money into Supreme Court elections but to say a decision "was FUNDED" by the WEA is pretty brash. I would think the WPC would be more careful with their language.

- the WPC, just like other charter supporters, says that this hurts minority/low-income students when there is zero evidence on WHO enrolled. The law was created to give a push to schools that serve those populations but there is no requirement to do so nor evidence that is who enrolled. (First Place Scholars is really the only school in that category and that can prove it.)

- WPC claims all nine will open their doors this week. That must mean a big-pockets person/group is going to fund them because they cannot make any claim on public funds at this point.

I have now read the entire court decision and I find it fascinating. I'll have a separate thread. I think it will make for a good discussion.

Anonymous said...

Fun times! Now Robin Lake of the CRPE/CRAP is chiming in about elected justices and elected school boards playing political games with kids. This from the think tank that pushes theories and crap propaganda as if it was peer-reviewed research. Somehow I think Chicago schools parents and teachers would vehemently disagree that elected school boards play more political games than the appointed ones. Have we heard from Bill Gates yet? Waltons? Bezos? Spady? All those self appointed education "experts" who know nothing about public ed?

Funny thing - most of the photos I've seen posted pleading the case for WA Charters have all been white kids. Not sure where the minority/low income students are, but I'm guessing the bulk of these charters are "white flight" schools. And since they're being SO forthcoming with the numbers, I'm sure they'll be equally forthcoming with demographics, (just like they would have been with the budget, I'm sure....)

More cynical than usual,
CT

Next Fight said...

CRPE/CRAP folks will be needing to find themselves another job. There are plenty of folks on that gravy train and they will be needing to find themselves another job, and you bet they will be yowling.

There is another big fight on the horizon and it involves the United States Supreme Court, teachers and union dues.

Rufus X said...

An August Seattle Times article mentions the demographics of 3 of the local Charters (Summit Sierra, Rainier Prep & Excel) as reported by the schools & based on their preliminary enrollment.

Rainier Prep - 160 students
88% FRL-eligible
~33% ESL
11% SPED

Excel - 88 students
60% FRL-eligible
15% ESL
15% SPED

Summit Sierra - 130 students
65% FRL-eligible
~33% African-American
28% Asian/Pacific Islander
14% SPED

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/wave-of-charter-schools-debuts-with-all-seats-filled/

Anonymous said...

Summit (non) Public Schools info from Dora...last year, including attrition rate, funders, special friends (Brad Bernatek)....
http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2014/10/tuesday-open-thread.html

CT

August Article said...

Here is another reason not to trust the wisdom of charter schools:


"Meanwhile, a 2013 lawsuit challenging the charter-school law’s constitutionality is still under review at the state Supreme Court.

But none of that has stopped the charters from going forward."


http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/wave-of-charter-schools-debuts-with-all-seats-filled/

Anonymous said...

I know only 2 families who chosed charters. One told me Rainier Prep was a hope for better curriculum, safer learning environment, and stronger academic cohort which I can understand if we were looking at the same SPS school for my children if we hadn't moved. The second family surprised me by choosing Summit as they live quite far from the school and their children have been through public, private, public, and now charter. Neither of these families are your stereotyped "I want a private school experience for free types". They were active, supportive volunteers of the local public school when our kids were younger. These families have been struggling for better education for a decade now and NSAP was a tough pill to swallow after the 10% set aside got left out. I'm against charter, but I also see to simply say you have choices isn't quite the same if your children have the ability to access and qualify for AL (have to pass the verbal and math portions and with dyslexia, that can be challenging) and/or live in areas where schools are better and safer. I have a tough time getting mad or even be resentful of parents and students who are looking for any opportunity to get a better education.

A mom









Joseph Rockne said...

Regarding mayoral control.

Might there be an argument that schools under mayoral control also fail the common school rationale of the opinion?

Mayoral control, like charter schools, would remove those schools from the control of the local school board. This was a key concern for all nine justices.

Sometimes you are better off not getting what you ask for. I wonder, given the potentially far reaching implications of this opinion, might they even regret the passage of the charter school referendum in the first place?


Anonymous said...

Should be "chose" charters. - A mom.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Joseph. IF Murray succeeded in taking over SPS *AND* installed his own appointed school board (like Rahm Emanuel and his predecessors in Chicago), then would that remove SPS from the common school definition? Or would that still be considered local control (enough) and would not? I remember one of the transcripts I read someplace brought up concerns with Summit and its base of operations being in California, and would they be following California guidelines or WA guidelines for some things.
Many years ago, similar concerns were brought up about K-12.com and sending WA tax dollars out of state via online schooling, VA guidelines vs WA State laws (K-12 was based in VA), plus K-12 utilized uncertified teachers, which was not allowed in WA. They agreed to some changes, did some sneaky stuff with the funding by establishing "local" online schools through willing school districts (Steilicoom comes to mind), and now plenty of money goes to K-12.com. Several legislators also quit right after all this went down and went to work for K-12, which I think is called WAVA here.
I'm sure the charter operators will find some sneaky way around the ruling, whether it be via their GOP and DINO legislative buddies, or yet another initiative financed by the billionaires, but for now, the privatized charter schools will have to get their sugar daddies and mommies (Gates, Spady, Bezos, Alice Walton, DFER, Stand on Children, LEV) to hand over some cash to keep operating.

I still would be interested to see what the actual demographics of all the charters are with final enrollment, as well as what the actual enrollment is/was (thanks Rufus X for the partial preliminary list). Unfortunately, charters don't have the best track record for reporting many things truthfully, starting with the games played with the wait lists (thousands on wait list!) to examples like the Ohio charters, reporting enrollment of non-existent students, or Utah, where estimated enrollment was always way higher than actual....


CT

Melissa Westbrook said...

Thank you, Rufus, for that info (but I still don't know how they get to 1,000 students).

Watching said...


Washington Charter School Association claiming they have enough funding tokeep schools open until a new charter school law can be put in place:

'Q: If the state does not provide funding, how will the school stay open?

A: WA Charters and our many partners are exploring every short- and long-term option to keep public charter schools open and protect every parent’s ability to choose a high-quality public charter school. It is still early, but we are confident we can secure any funding schools may need until a long-term solution, such as a new charter school law, can be put in place."


Anonymous said...

I notice the charters report FRL eligible not FRL. Do they actually provide free and reduced price lunches? Are they guessing about FRL eligibility or do they require earnings disclosures from families? Those numbers look about the same as the public schools, actually richer and much less black than some of our schools.
Numbers

Greenwoody said...

Even if there were 1,300 students in the charter schools, there are at least 1 million - yes, 1 million - kids in K-12 public schools here in Washington State. Surely their needs come before the corporate charter school operators. Republicans are freaking out about a tiny handful of kids in the charter schools, but have resisted every effort to actually help the 1 million kids in public schools get the fully funded education they deserve.

(citation for number of kids in public school in WA: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2014098/tables/table_02.asp)

Watching said...

LEV sent an e-mail. The intent of the letter was to cast attention to possible strike, and LEV's achievements.

Here is what Korsmo has to say about charter schools:

"Fast forward to the beginning of the school year, and we celebrate the opening of eight new public charter schools around the state. Even as we celebrate, however, some districts are anticipating or experiencing strikes. We are watching these districts closely and will keep you informed."

NO mention of Supreme Court ruling.

Anonymous said...

Charter is going to be hard to revive after this ruling. Let it stay dead. It's time for people to refocus their attention on ending the educational disparity among schools. Throwing more speculation on the what ifs of mayoral control (at this rate, schools will get colorful paint jobs to go with colorful sidewalks with mayoral photo op in Zanzibar) or even fully funding McCleary won't solve this problem as long as people are happy to avoid the subject or make this an unfixable problem where " bad"parents and "their culture" are used as excuses for why things can't change or making it an insurmountable societal problem which allows for school segregation to exist in Seattle. It's crass to throw school choice around to parents and students as if they all have access to options like QAE and TOPS or neighborhood schools like Garfield or Whittier.

A mom

Anonymous said...

@ Watching. Yes, just what I pondered above. LEVites on vacation, Gates on vacation and prewritten email newsletter auto-programmed to go out the day after Labor Day. How embarrassing for them.

Soon incoming: The flurry of new emails imploring writing to the state government, soliciting $$ and generally railing about "the educational backwaters of WA" (translation...the public is onto the fact that privateers are trying to suck the public school system dry and now LEV and DFER aren't able to deliver the promised "investment opportunities" to their Corporate Reformie buddies.)

But, but "What About The Kids?!" ---- Let's count the times the same photo and pat phraseology appear in each soon to arrive email.

Of course it really is all about the kids...the ones told to show up to schools while a court decision was pending, and who were callously used as a hedge against the court making up its own mind. Not that the emails will mention any of that.

NoCharters

Anonymous said...

Wall Street Journal September 7, 2015

The Judges Who Stole School Choice
A court rejects a voter-passed charter law in Washington state.

Sept. 7, 2015 7:16 p.m. ET

Eight new charter schools in Washington state opened this fall, but on Friday the state Supreme Court delivered a grim surprise by overturning the state’s charter law. Welcome back to the public school monopoly, kids.


WSJ calls the court's decision overreaching and politically flawed.

Bewildered Mind

Melissa Westbrook said...

"..where " bad"parents and "their culture" are used as excuses for why things can't change"

Where did you hear this? I haven't heard this said by any SPS official.

School choice does exist in SPS and it's found in the Option schools which are open to all. Whether you think that is enough is another thing but it does exist.

The National Review and the WSJ could not be more scathing in their rejection of the opinion. Luckily, their opinion doesn't matter.

RosieReader said...

Aid there still talk of calling a special session? I was appalled when I heard that bandied about over the weekend. No special session after a finding of contempt in McCleary and the issuance of a daily fine, but calls for one because a thousand kids don't get extra special treatment?

Charlie Mas said...

Here's what I don't get. The Supreme Court, if I'm not mistaken, confirmed the lower Court decision. If that's the case, then the charter schools already had a Court rule against them and the current Court opinion was against them when the case before the Supreme Court was pending - or am I misremembering it?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Rosie, yes, it is still out there and it's nonsense. How could the Governor and the Legislature do this with a straight face? And which would it be - fronting money for the first year of operations or changing the charter law to fit the constitution.

How could they rationally do either? There is no quick fix.

Charlie, the Supreme Court partially upheld the lower court. They said the lower court was correct in saying that charters are not common schools because of the lack of elected oversight and that would affect the charters ability to access state dollars.

However the lower court said she thought that part of the charter law could be separated out and charters could go on (somehow). The Supreme Court said no, without funding, the whole law does not work.

I have an anaylsis of my own (and there's one out there by a teacher in one of the charter schools) and we can compare and contrast.

The one thing that does irritate me is that they keep hectoring about using a 100-year old precedent. There is nothing weird or wrong with that and it does not - as the Court ruling shows - mean that the Court does not recognize the evolution of public education.

Anonymous said...

Given the 100-year-old precedent and the court's Friday ruling, I will be submitting a lawsuit to end Running Start. Our public colleges and universities are not governed by elected boards/officials and, therefore, have no right to common school funds.

Citizen Kane

RosieReader said...

Although you have to read to the end of the original ST article, yes, Judge Rietschel ruled against the funding portions of the law way back in 2013. Oral arguments were last september. That's a long time to wait for a decision, but not unheard of.

Lynn said...

Yes Citizen Kane, it appears to me that both Running Start and the recently created Tribal Compact Schools might also be illegally receiving common school funding.
Drew Stokesbary had been tweeting about this as though it's proof that the charter law must be corrected. Instead, I think it's proof that the legislature has been sloppy.

Anonymous said...

@Lynn, I think what he is saying is that there are legitimate public education programs funded by the legislature out of the general fund, rather than a (non-existent) common school fund. These programs shouldn't be eliminated but rather replicated.

He and others are making the case that the SC majority erred in declaring the entirety of the general fund off-limits to charter schools simply due to the fact that any funds directed to charter schools out of the general fund could not be accounted for and, therefore, could be used to divert funds from the traditional ("common") schools. This is a hard case to make, although the majority made this case. If that were true, wouldn't any funds (e.g., community mental health, prisons, etc.) out of general fund arguably divert funds from the public schools?

Citizen Kane

Melissa Westbrook said...

Citizen, what you and others fail to understand is Running Start is a program, not a school. Not a common school. That's why the funding is okay. And our universities and communities colleges don't fall under "common school" funding which is for K-12.

As well,the Tribal Compact Schools are under..tribal law as I understand it.

Citizen, yes, the dissent brought up some of your questions but the issue is hilarious to think that we would divert MORE dollars from other health/safety/social services in the general fund. Not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

@Melissa, it appears that it is you that does not understand how RS funds are apportioned. These are K-12 "common school" funds that are apportioned from OSPI to local school districts. The funds are then diverted from the district to the colleges and universities with no authority of the local school board. In other words, local school boards have no say whatsoever over how these K-12 funds are spent, thus violating Bryan. The funds are not apportioned directly to the colleges and are not a separate funding stream.

The second issue you raise is a political issue, not a legal one. The majority stated that charter schools could not be legally funded from the general fund since the legislature does not distinguish between restricted common school funds and otherwise. This is then true of the entirety of the general fund. A legal question, not a political one.

Citizen Kane

Anonymous said...

I am curious, Citizen Kane: are you planning on filing your Running Start lawsuit because you are genuinely distressed over the use by Washington state juniors and seniors of community college classes? Or are you just being vindictive?

Jan