- The Washington State Charter Schools Association asked the Supreme Court for an extension on their filing for reconsideration by the Court and was granted it. They have until October 24th to file.
- Meanwhile, Attorney General Bob Ferguson met the 20-day deadline for his office's filing for reconsideration.
- Additionally, Ferguson is filing a friend of the court for the WSCSA's reconsideration.
- The Washington Education Association has launched a petition to ask Ferguson to reconsider his motion to the Court for reconsideration. It has over 1,000 signatures.
- Troubled First Place Scholars charter school is have a "radio-thon" this weekend in to raise money for the school.
- Remember how the head of the WSCASA, Tom Franta, had said, immediately after the ruling, that private donors would make sure that the current charter schools would have funding thru the end of the school year? From the News Tribune on September 8, 2015:
In the wake of Friday’s ruling from the Washington Supreme Court that the state’s charter school law is unconstitutional, CEO Tom Franta of the Washington State Charter Schools Association said his group has brokered a deal that will keep the schools open with grants and donations.
Well, now not so much. Now he says that they don't have the money yet.
October 6, 2015 from KPLU:
But Franta clarified the association has not yet received any actual donations so, as a legal matter, the association cannot guarantee it will raise the funds to keep the charter schools open.
"All of these fundraising efforts will take time," the charter schools association's motion reads, "and the results are uncertain.”
I note that at their website they are doing fundraising and have been since the ruling.
I perceive that they jumped the gun saying private donors would pay to finish this school year and this as a ploy to try to get the State to continue its funding. Why should Bill Gates pay if they can coerce the State to continue do so?
- KPLU also reports that the State is paying for the charters to operate thru October:
The state sent the payment because the charter association and the state attorney general's office have filed motions asking the court to reconsider its ruling — and as long as that legal limbo continues, the schools can receive public money.
-On the subject of Running Start and other programs like the Tri-Cities Delta High School whose funding has been alleged to be threatened under this ruling, the Tri-City Herald reported this:
The Washington Policy Center added that even Delta High, a science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, school cooperatively run by the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland school districts, is at risk because of its supportive ties with Columbia Basin College, Washington State University and private industry.
But officials with the Kennewick and Pasco school districts reject the possibility that the charter school ruling put Delta High in jeopardy. The school is governed by the three Tri-City districts, and no decisions regarding the school are made without the approval of the three elected school boards.
“I’m not even sure why someone would suggest that would fall in line with the Supreme Court decision,” said Kennewick Superintendent Dave Bond.Yes, why would someone try to put out information - any information, piles of information - in order to support their side on the issue of the Supreme Court ruling?
It’s not as clear-cut with Running Start, which allows high school students to take courses on college and university campuses for college credit. Columbia Basin College’s board and the regents of Washington State University, the only local options for the program in the Tri-Cities, are appointed by the governor.
But school districts elect to participate in the program, forming a partnership with a higher education institution, school officials said. The districts don’t have authority over college faculty, but they determine which courses meet credit requirements and still provide some services to Running Start students.
The money the colleges and universities receive to teach the students must flow from a school district first, meaning elected boards and their constituents exercise control, school officials said.
“Our position would be we want to make sure,” said Marty Brown, spokesman for the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. “(The concerns) aren’t directly on point, but clarification would be good.”
I think Running Start is probably in the clear. But here's the thing - with this Supreme Court ruling, even if there are found to be programs found to be improperly funded by the Legislature, two wrongs don't make a right.
Correct those programs' funding by all means if necessary because of the Court's ruling but that doesn't mean fund charter schools as well. The charter law is still unconstitutional.