Thursday, February 25, 2016

Charter Bill Won't Be Heard (Today)

 Update#3:  The representative who didn't vote on putting 6194 back on the House Ed agenda yesterday was  Rep Sam Hunt, D-Olympia.  Interestingly, Rep Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, who was the co-sponsor of the House version of 6194, voted no.  Apparently he had doubts about the ability for it to hold up in court.  (And I believe that many of those who voted no probably felt the same way.  Once bitten and all that.)

But Springer does want charters to go forward but was worried if a second law was overturned, it would doom the whole effort.  He is apparently trying to figure out a way to get local control AND funding AND state authorizations possible as well.

As I said before, that's pretty much a whole re-write of the bill.  Is there time for that?  Given the record of those who have been writing these initiatives/bills, I don't think so.

By the way, have you gotten your robo-call?  After the third one, I called WSCSA and told them to knock it off. 

end of update
Update #2: Well, apparently Rep. Chad Magendanz has a bill, HB 3000 (sounds like a souped-up remote control) that would fund the Charter Commission (or the schools - the link to the bill has no info.)  If we don't have charter schools, we don't need the Charter Commission.  If we don't have charter schools, we don't have to fund them.  We don't have charter schools or a charter school law so this is all puzzling.

Magendanz loves to try this last-minute hustle but I can't believe there can be any real justification for all this.

Update: AP is reporting this:
Committee chairwoman Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, D-Seattle, says she removed the bill from Thursday's voting list because she was still waiting for a work group report on solutions to problems with the charter school initiative, which was passed by voters in 2012.

At the beginning of a committee meeting, Republican members tried to put the issue back on the agenda. But a motion to do so failed on a vote of 10-10. It required 11 votes to pass and one member of the committee was not present.
Wonder who that committee member was?

end of update

The House Early Learning & K-12 Education committee was to meet this morning in executive session to discuss several bills, among them the charter bill.  That meeting has been cancelled.  The committee IS meeting this morning but the charter school bill was pulled from the meeting. 

From the WSCSA twitter feed:

16m16 minutes ago Olympia, WA
6194 not voted out of house Ed. 500 kids and parents need a fix now and will calling for reinstating law at noon. 

That's a bit weird that now they say there are just "500 kids" that need this law.  That's quite a lower number than the 1300 that they have been throwing around at legislative hearings.  (Update: it appears the tweet was unclear; they brought 500 kids to Olympia today.)

Also, how does the legislature "reinstate" an unconstitutional law?  (Want to see the Supreme Court go over the edge?  Basically ignored McCleary AND try some weird workaround to put back charters.)

My answer to that tweet is that there was a "fix" made for this year and these students get to be in their schools.  As well, I actually tweeted:

It's important for children and adults to understand the law, the constitution and how democracy works.

Truly, it is and if ever there was a teachable moment for kids, this is it.  Maybe the charter school parents will finally look around and realize that it is not the Supreme Court or the legislature that got them to this point - it's charter supporters who did not do the right thing - put forth a constitutional law.

Stay tuned.


NO 1240 said...

Steve and Connie Ballmer contributed $250k to Washington Charters PAC. I think this PAC is funding the Act Now for Washington Charters campaign. They have pulled-out all stops and have taken to the air waves:

I am also wondering the name of the individual that was not at the committee meeting.

I fully expect attempts to place this bill on the floor.

Thanks for your work, Melissa.

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to continue publicizing that the head of the state charter PAC apparently is married to the head of Seattle's only charter school? It's another evidence bullet point that a handful of interwoven interests are doing their damnedest to force charter funding through the session.


NO 1240 said...

I hear there is going to be ANOTHER charter school rally in Olympia. How many times will charter schools take their students out of school??!!

I too find the 500 number interesting.

Po3 said...

NO 1240.

I totally agree, it's odd and at this point, creepy!

Kids are just being used as pawns as the civic lessons were learned the first time they went down, certainly by the second time. I can't imagine why parents are condoning this behavior.

So odd...

NO 1240 said...

Some lawmaker say the charter bill is not dead.

Ahl is amongst those that filed a court case against I 1240. Ahl points out that I 1240 is still in the court:

"The case is still in the court. Please do not move this bill forward until the case is decided," Ahl said, noting that the Supreme Court only ruled on part of the case and sent it back to the lower courts."

Shall we have two bills with potential constitutional issues?

NO 1240 said...

Chad Magendanz has been busy. He offers a budget amendment for charter schools that will reduce the general fund by $338K. What will get cut?

"EFFECT: Increases total 2015-17 appropriations for the
Washington Charter School Commission to $1,563,000. Adds operation
of the charter school commission to the Washington Opportunity
Pathways Account list of allowable expenditures.
Reduces General Fund - State by $338,000."

Increases WA Opportunity Path - State by $973,000.

Charlie Mas said...

The Washington State legislature web site is very good. It is really easy to find SB6194, read it, and to follow its history. How lovely.

No 1240 said...

Initiative 1240 is still in the court system. The court addressed the issue regarding the definition of Common Schools, but other issues need to be addressed. The other issues include- a uniform system of education, the role of SPI and it is highly likely the Supreme Court will have a problem with general fund dollars going into the lottery fund.

These bills need to be stopped. Magendanz is leading the charge and he needs to be stopped and removed from office.

Anonymous said...

I clicked on your link to HB 3000 and I see a bill with a single sponsor --- Rep. Larry Springer (D). And it's what's referred to as a "title only" bill.

--- aka

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, AKA, but my sources let me know what has been discussed to put in that bill. Thank you for that clarification.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, No 1240, you have not read the Superior Court ruling on I-1240. They already very clearly ruled on the uniform system of education and the SPI issues. The suit now sits in the Superior Court, having been sent back to the trial court by the Supreme Court.

To quote on uniformity, ""Considering the requirements the charter schools must comply with, namely educational goals, student assessments, and EALR’s, the court holds that the charter school act meets the definition of a general and uniform school system.”

To quote on SPI, "Plaintiffs argue that without the power to correct or directly control the charter school the supervision [of the Superintendent] is an empty promise, undermined by the independence of the Commission. The argument may have validity to the statute as applied but fails as a facial challenge."

--- aka

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, but it's still in court. So we have a law in the court system and a new bill that looks to be unconstitutional. It would appear charter supporters can't seem to write constitutional laws.

Anonymous said...

Given that there doesn't appear to be a uniformity issue or an SPI authority issue --- at least according the Superior Court --- and that the current bill addresses the funding issue identified by the Supreme Court, I'm having a hard time understanding what's unconstitutional about it.

--- aka

Melissa Westbrook said...

And that would be why it's back in its original setting - to allow that court to figure it out.

You also forget - the Supreme Court was quite clear that they did NOT address all the plaintiffs' issues with the law. Maybe that's what the Superior Court will now do.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I think you could be right. Unfortunately, the Sept. 4 ruling and the denial of reconsideration ruling doesn't give the Superior Court any direction. Without such direction, it would be hard for the lower court to address matters not addressed by the Supreme Court.

That's why I think uniformity and SPI authority are settled. What the lower court will address I think will pertain only to charter schools as common schools and the unconstitutionality of common school funds be allocated to charter schools.

--- aka

NO 1240 said...

Thanks, aka. It has been a while since I've read the Superior Court case and I should read the case, again.

I do have information. One thing is clear...there are differing opinions.

Thanks for the Update 3- Melissa. Quite interesting that the sponsor of the bill voted NO.