One upside to the charter law news is that it take the blinding spotlight off the SPS and SEA negotiations over the teachers contract. Here's hoping that the negotiating teams are finding common ground to open schools on Wednesday.
As for the charter law ruling, the Washington State Charter Schools Association had quite the statement yesterday(partial):
WA Charters is shocked and deeply disappointed with the State Supreme Court’s ruling, which rejected the public charter school law that voters approved in 2012—recognized as one of the strongest in the nation. The decision was based on a century-old precedent that said public charter schools cannot receive “common school” public funds because they are not overseen by elected boards.
I have to smile at the hubris of these people. "Recognized as one of the strongest in the nation?" By other charter orgs. What they fail - again - to recognize is that it does NOT matter how "strong" or "good" the law is - it was found not constitutional. That's not a small thing and it wasn't from the time they started down this road.
Unfortunately, the ruling comes weeks after eight new public charter schools started serving 1,200 excited students. The Court’s decision, made late Friday, did not specify what exactly will happen to the schools that are already open—and the students who attend them. Instead, the State Supreme Court justices sent the case back to the King County Superior Court “for an appropriate order.”
So that answers - somewhat - "what happens next?" It goes back to KC Superior Court. I suspect that it will be tough for the KC Court to say no to funding for the existing charter schools (and I mean the ones that were up and running last school year). However, I think the Court will put itself in an untenable situation to try to fund any of the charters after the Supreme Court's ruling.
Along with legal experts, we are carefully reviewing the decision to determine how this ruling will be applied. Until we know more, every public charter school plans to be open on Tuesday, September 8, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that there is no disruption for the students currently enrolled in Washington’s public charter schools.
Let's hope they get better "legal experts" than they did last time because apparently their legal experts either knowing overlooked the WA state constitution or didn't understand what they were reading.
One suggestion about finding a way to keep those charters open - ask Bill Gates or Alice Walton.
There are two legal options as I see it (but I'm no lawyer so chime in). One, go to the US Supreme Court and ask for a stay. I don't think the US Supremes will do this because there is no real federal constitutional issue and the state constitution is not violating any provision of the US constitution.
Two, go to the Legislature for the money in an emergency capacity. This is fraught with problems because the ire of the parents of hundreds of thousands of students in public schools that are not fully-funded. As well, the Supreme Court is already fairly upset with the Legislature and might consider it a big throwdown if the Legislature should take that step.