Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Dorn Calls for Special Session

This is one of the funnier press announcements I have read in a long time.

In a ruling Sept. 4, the Washington State Supreme Court declared the initiative that established our state’s charter schools to be unconstitutional.

This ruling potentially affects more than 1,000 students who have already started the 2015-16 school year.

“Even before the initiative was finalized, I warned the drafters it was unconstitutional,” State Superintendent Randy Dorn said. “And after the initiative was passed, I sent a letter to key education leaders in the state legislature expressing my concerns.

“But now that school is in session, we need to do everything we can not to disrupt the education of the students caught in the middle of this argument.”

This is the second time in two months that the state Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of our current education system. Dorn urges the governor to call a solution-oriented special legislative session to fix the charter school law and to address the lingering McCleary contempt order. 

As I said in my Tweet:  Easy peasy, let me get my wand.
As a matter of fact, I did speak to Dorn in his office during the I-1240 campaign and he was not for it.  My impression is that after charters did win, he got a lot more pragmatic.  What makes that puzzling is that his own role is defined - in our state constitution - and includes overseeing "common schools."

My take on the law and how the Court would rule was that they would split the baby.  Meaning, I thought the Court would say "if you want the money, then under the Constitution, you have to have oversight by OSPI.  If you don't want the money, then carry on but without that oversight, no money."

Interestingly the Court ruling says that they based their ruling ONLY on the funding issue, saying that if the funding wasn't there, the law was not what voters intended.  They also said that because of that outright shutdown of the law on that basis, that they were not considering any of the other issues the plaintiffs had brought forward (and I think it included the issue of oversight by the State Superintendent.)

But now that charters got opened -for three whole weeks - Dorn is on-board with a Special Session to both fix the charter law AND sort out McCleary? ( I just love that use of "lingering" with McCleary.  Like it's an odor.)

Again, I do not believe the Governor will call a Special Session.  This is just too big to get done in some quick way and to try is to waste more taxpayer dollars.


Anonymous said...

The charter school supporters have already offered $$$ to keep them open ... so why the need for a special session?

N by NW

Anonymous said...

A special session is needed to add a boost to the Olympia economy.
Looking for tips in bars and restaurants.

Economically Yours

Watching said...

Dorn does MORE than call a legislative session:

"I am writing you to make my concerns clear, and to offer my assistance in amending this new statute to remove this constitutional issue.
Article III, Section 22 of our Constitution states: “The superintendent of public instruction shall have supervision over all matters pertaining to public schools, and shall perform such specific duties as may be prescribed by law.”

The e-mail is addressed to Frank Copp, Pat Sullivan, Richard Debolt, Sharon Tomiko -Santos, Cathy Dahlquist and SEATTLE's MAYOR ED MURRAY. I would expect it to be sent to all individuals, but Ed Murray?(!)

Watching said...

I suspect Ed Murray needs charter schools to complete his prek project.

seattle citizen said...

Charters have 1200 students (maybe.) Washington State has over a million. Where are the special sessions on the smaller class size initiative and the McCleary decision, both of which impact EVERY student in our state? Those come first.

Anonymous said...

What seattle citizen said!

N by NW

Melissa Westbrook said...

Watching, thank you for this reminder - it had been a long time since I have seen it. But did you not note the date - it's from 2013, right after the 1240 election (and Murray was still a Senator).

I'll have to get to my analysis thread; it ties right into this.

Anonymous said...

That email is dated 2013 likely at the beginning of the legislative session. Murray is on it not as the Mayor but in his capacity as a legislator. But it does appear that Dorn was concerned about the constitutional issues of the recently passed I 1240

Longtime lurker

Watcing said...

Apologies and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good ol Don Nielson, former SPS school board president and behind-the-scenes Corporate Reform lever-puller, has busted out a pro-charter press release that uses words like 'smells' and 'unconscionable'.

Add Nielson to the list of Reformies who will be plotting every day this school year to force a charter fix through legislature.


Anonymous said...

@DistrictWatcher, Nielsen is a long time conservative solutions guy. He wrote a book about it that maybe 100 people read. More problematic is the big money dem crowd led by Nick Hanauer who through a huge tantrum about the subject that was covered in The Stranger and this blog I think a couple years ago. Huge ego guy. His acolyte is former LEV head Lisa Macfarlane who jumped ship to lobby fulltime for charters via DFER. Democrats for Education Reform. The group is run out of the East Coast by hedge fund guys. It's a very unpleasant group in that it is all about the profits to be made on charter education. But they hide behind cute pictures of poor and minority kids. The worst of the democrats IMHO. Here's what Macfarlane just posted, and you can bet the Seattle Limousine Liberals following Hanauer will be pitching every hissy fit they can muster this year to get charters back into play. We must watch these people very very carefully.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Nielson, who I didn't like when he was on the Board,thinks this "smells of politics."

I think it smells of money and power and people who thought they could get their way from both. They gambled and lost.