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.