The majority did strike out one footnote (page 11, footnote 10) about the use of School District No. 20 v. Bryan. A bit interesting as this does revolve around Article IX on funding but they were likely addressing the issue of funding for other education programs.
The dissenters said: (partial)
"various amici have raised legitimate questions regarding the use of unrestricted funds and the power of the legislature to act. These questions touch upon the impact of our decision on other public, non-common school programs. Granting reconsideration would provide an opportunity for appellants to respond to the motions for this court to clarify our decision and to expressly limit our ruling to the case before us so that the legislature can chose to act, or not, without fear of another constitutional challenge and additional litigation."Again, two wrongs don't make a right. If there are education programs being wrongly funded, the legislature can figure that out. It still won't make this law constitutional if other programs' funding gets changed.
This presents an tough problem for the charters.
- When is their funding cut off? November or December?
- What about the Charter Commission - it cannot exist without state funding so even if charters get their own funding to go on, who oversees the ones that are not overseen by a school district?
I attended the 43rd Dems meeting on Tuesday where our reps - Speaker Chopp, Senator Pedersen and Rep. Walkinshaw - were in attendance.
Pedersen had a brief overview of the last session and it was bleak. He said he thought the Court had been mostly "patient and gentle" with the legislature since the McCleary ruling by the Court for the legislature to fully-fund education. He said with the passage of the Tim Eyman anti-tax initiative, things can only get worse. (And p.s., Eyman filed ANOTHER initiative this week to limit how long a tax increase lasts.)
Walkinshaw pointed out how close the Eyman vote had been and how low the voter turnout was in King County.
I asked if they would vote to support a charter school bill. Pedersen said he didn't think there would be one but that there were a couple of scenarios.
1) - amendment to constitution - no one thinks that will happen
2) creating two kinds of charter schools - ones approved by the Charter Commission that would exist but get no state funding dollars (but might get other state/fed dollars along with private funding) AND
the charters approved by school districts a la´ Spokane that do have oversight by an elected board.
I didn't get an answer from Chopp but Walkinshaw and Pedersen would not straight up vote for any new charter law. Pedersen said he would vote yes for a fix but only if the Reps were forcing it to get McCleary dollars.
The State and Intervenors have asked for a stay of mandate until June 2016.
Meanwhile, charter supporters have done the following:
- had a rally in Olympia today (oh, the irony)
- created videos with Washington State parents explaining how great their charters are
- created yet another Gates astro-turf group to prop up charters. Their line-up includes the usual suspects of LEV, Stand for Children, etc.
Update: statement from Washington State AG Bob Ferguson.
A pretty funny (kind of middle school girl note funny) statement from the Washington Policy Center.
It was particularly mean of them to announce the decision on the same day charter schools families traveled to Olympia to voice their message and their concerns.