Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Live Blogging Listening to Charter Bill Amendments


Please call Governor Inslee and tell him he needs to veto this bill for two reasons.  The legislature did not get any real work done on McCleary and the bill will likely not pass muster with the courts (and does he want even more families to go thru what happened to charter families this year?)


end of update
Given how thoroughly they are debating the amendments, I would suppose, at the end of it, that the vote will be to approve this bill. I'm going to call it at 53 yay and 44 nay.

Amendments (I may have come in late as I had been tracking and waiting for hours for the session to start.)

So far there is one adoption and that is to make sure that the McKinney-Veto Act (for homeless children) is part of federal acts to follow.  (Couldn't believe that the opposition even raised a voice against it but they did.)

Amendment on giving preference to at-risk kids.  Opposition saying it would not "break up families." (Issue is giving priority to sibs and children of school employees.)  This amendment was defeated.

Amendment on limiting charters to three per district to see impacts to both charter students and school districts was defeated.

Amendment to make charters inform prospective, new and on-going charter parents about any litigation that their school may be under.  Adopted. 

Amendment about correcting a mistake on Charter Commission.  Turns out they did NOT mean to take out State Superintendent and Director of BOE (or reps).   Gerry Pollet called it more a public relations commission than an oversight commission.   Amendment was adopted.

Amendment to put a hold on number of charters to 8 to see if Supreme Court agrees with this "fix" so that many more charter schools don't get closed.  Opposition says just a "veto" for interest groups. A lot of discussion on this one.  Failed.

Amendment similar to the one above to hold at eight charters.  Spokane rep mentions that Supreme Court got it wrong on governance re: their area charters (I would agree.)  Failed.

Amendment on at-risk kids and charter schools must take any in that enroll in a charter.  (Basically, charters have to open their doors to everyone.  The argument against it was tortured and failed to see that it allows charters to NOT open their door to the very kids they say they want.)  Failed.

Amendment because of an error made, funding formula for charters and public schools is equal.Adopted.

Amendment for hold harmless for school district if they start losing too many kids from public to charter schools.  Magendanz says its not "unusual" for a school to vary by 100 kids a year.  Very weird what is happening in Issaquah because if ANY Seattle school loses 100 kids in a year, it would be very noticeable.  (To note, Seattle schools lost about 60 kids this year to charter schools.)  Failed.

Amendment about charter school students paying for own costs to participate in district sports.  I can't believe this wouldn't pass as the district pay for all the infrastructure.  Adopted.

Amendment to have charter board members release financial disclosure conflicts.  Magendanz says they aren't elected or appointed so not appropriate for them.  (Handling public money but okay.  Apparently I'm on point with speakers rising to support the oversight.)  I am mightily impressed with Rep. Gregerson - she's bright and a hard-hitting speaker.  Well, well, it got adopted by a huge margin.

Amendment on severability clause (it's 957 but I don't have it in front of me to read.)  Failed.

Amendment on bill not taking effect until AFTER McCleary is done.  This was offered by Rep. Steve Bergquist of Renton (also another good speaker.)  Stokesbary says we can "fully fund education" but apparently he doesn't care when (and this from a guy who claims he has a lot riding on McCleary because he has small children so I suppose it's great for him to wait several years.) I don't even have to wait for a vote - this one will fail.  Wait for it - yup, it failed.

Amendment 956 on removes emergency clause from underlying bill.  Failed

Final vote on striker 6194 (the charter school bill itself) - probably passed (I got tired of listening to the speeches.)

Rep Springer said parents should have choice of teachers, curriculum and location of school - I'm glad he thinks that public education can afford that much choice and yet won't fully fund McCleary.  Magendanz said that the members of the legislature may not always agree with voters but "want to try to enact their will whenever feasible." Arrogant doesn't not even cover this guy.

Rep Patty Kuderer, Bellevue, another thoughtful, smart speaker, worried out loud that more families will be left in limbo because this law will go to court again.  She called for an amendment to constitution because of the difficulty to craft a law that will meet our constitution.  She said something funny but got cut off.

Great, everyone wants to talk.  Mainly an issue of choice for children of color/at-risk versus fully-funding schools (that's what the back-and-forth was.)  


Teacher Greg said...

Time to primary some democrats. Governor please veto this bad unconstitutional bill

joanna said...

I don't know if it will do any good, but calling the Governor seems the only recourse. Call Governor Inslee's office, at 360-902-4111. I would hope and expect that the governor would veto a charter bill. The message to the House and Senate should be that if such a bill comes to his desk, he would veto it, especially because the Legislature was still not in compliance with McCleary.

NO 1240 said...

It is a sad for Washington state residents.

Elected officials in the House and Senate do not have regard for the Constitution. They have NO regard for the citizens for which the constitution is intended to protect. The only thing that is worse: A governor that has no regard for the Constitution and the citizens deserving of constitutional laws.

The attorney that won I 1240 has already spoken-out and said the funding is an accounting trick, which we already knew.

Here is the vote:
SB 6194 roll call (charters), as amended by the House:

Voting Yea: Representatives Barkis, Buys, Caldier, Chandler, Clibborn, Condotta, DeBolt, Dent, Dye, Griffey, Haler, Hargrove, Harmsworth, Harris, Hawkins, Hayes, Hickel, Holy, Hurst, Johnson, Kagi, Klippert, Kochmar, Kretz, Kristiansen, Lytton, MacEwen, Magendanz, Manweller, McCabe, McCaslin, Morris, Muri, Nealey, Orcutt, Parker, Pettigrew, Pike, Rodne, Sawyer, Schmick, Scott, Senn, Shea, Short, Smith, Springer, Stambaugh, Stokesbary, Sullivan, Taylor, Van Werven, Vick, Walsh, Wilcox, Wilson, Young, Zeiger

Voting Nay: Representatives Appleton, Bergquist, Blake, Cody, Dunshee, Farrell, Fey, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Goodman, Gregerson, Hansen, Hudgins, S. Hunt, Jinkins, Kilduff, Kirby, Kuderer, McBride, Moeller, Moscoso, Ormsby, Ortiz-Self, Peterson, Pollet, Reykdal, Riccelli, Robinson, Rossetti, Ryu, Santos, Sells, Stanford, Tarleton, Tharinger, Van De Wege, Walkinshaw, Wylie, Mr. Speaker

Excused: Representative Orwall

NO 1240 said...

"Amendment to have charter board members release financial disclosure conflicts. Magendanz says they aren't elected or appointed so not appropriate for them."

Shocking. Just shocking.

Ms206 said...

Any charter school bill should have a provision that clearly gives local school districts the authority to set enrollment caps on charter schools as well as penalties for schools that exceed enrollment caps. (Perhaps a reward for schools that comply with enrollment caps would be a good idea so that consequences are not just punitive.)

Living in Philadelphia, PA, I see the consequences of unfetterred charter school expansion first-hand. Local school districts in PA cannot set enrollment caps, which allows charter schools to expand enrollment at will. The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) is unable to control and project its own costs. The consequence is that the SDP keeps losing money and the District-run schools keep having to deal with budget cuts.

Teacher Greg said...

I'd like hear more about the "12 high paid lobbyists" referred to during the debate. Even acknowledging their existence apparently besmirched pro charter peoples character.

Anonymous said...

Any "Democrat" voting with Manweller or Magendanz ought to be ashamed of themselves. Those two self-serving, hateful individuals with highly questionable ethics could care less about what WA State citizens need or want. If they are voting yes on something, it is probably not good for the average citizen. Charter schools lobbyists push "choice" as the big thing, but choice is a red herring. The school does the choosing, not the parents. That is okayed out in state after state where charter schools have already infested the system. Hope Kagi & Senn got good payoffs from the charter lobbyists. They'll need it come re-election time.


NO 1240 said...

"Any "Democrat" voting with Manweller or Magendanz ought to be ashamed of themselves"

Well put, CT.

Robert Cruickshank said...

The point Ms206 made is key: charter schools defund public schools. It is appalling that House Democrats allowed this to happen. Inslee needs to veto this. Otherwise, this will make McCleary impossible to meet - and it will actually make the current situation of underfunded schools a whole lot worse, especially here in Seattle.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ms206, that was one amendment that did get shot down. Tacoma SD is very unhappy as they already have 3 charter schools in their district and are already feeling the effects.

The Times has an article today about this action and boy, do they leave a lot out (which I wrote into the Comments section.) There was this whopper from Magendanz:

"Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, ranking member of the House Education Committee, called it a “simple and elegant solution” to the Supreme Court’s ruling."

That is complete and utter nonsense. The writer of the bill had to put forth TWO amendments because - whoops! - forgot stuff. One thing was the apportionment. That's a pretty big thing to get wrong.

I also note how many legislators talked about their own children and yet, not one said he/she would be sending their children to a charter school.

Such a dilemma for the Governor but he has put himself in this position. He has always been against charters and has repeatedly stated that. Plus all those labor unions are the people who do the hard fieldwork for elections.

Changing your position without telling people would be very bad form and I would expect he would feel a lot of heat and loss of money/resources for his re-election campaign should he sign this bill.

NO 1240 said...

"The point Ms206 made is key: charter schools defund public schools. It is appalling that House Democrats allowed this to happen."

Grateful for Gerry Pollet. He argued that one of Seattle's charter schools opened at the last minute and took students from Seattle. As a result, there was an incredible disruption to teachers and students within SPS. Teachers were let=go and children had to be moved into crowded classrooms.

As well, Tacoma wanted to limit charter schools to 3 per district because charter schools drained funding and high school class sizes got even larger.

Despite the arguments, no one listened. Clearly, the intention is to break public education and privatize.

I honestly believe that Chad Magendanz is a dangerous madman.

NO 1240 said...

"The point Ms206 made is key: charter schools defund public schools. It is appalling that House Democrats allowed this to happen. Inslee needs to veto this. Otherwise, this will make McCleary impossible to meet - and it will actually make the current situation of underfunded schools a whole lot worse, especially here in Seattle."

Exactly. Charters will weaken a fragile system.

SPS Mom said...

I just called the governor's office directly and spoke to a very nice woman who took down my concerns. I just said I wanted to ask him to veto any charter school bill and that funding for current public schools needed to be settled first. I wish I had said that he should veto it because of lack of progress on McCleary specifically, but, oh well...

I encourage everyone to call (and I HATE the phone - and I did okay)

Call Governor Inslee's office, at 360-902-4111.

Po3 said...

Wonder if charter students are working the phone today asking the Gov not to veto?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Probably, they were phone banking for the bill.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they are spending more school days camping out at the Governor's mansion.
Apparently it's fine for charter kids to do this because they are so much further ahead than students in traditional public schools. At least that's what this delightful ed deformer (Arne Duncan's former second in command) thinks.


Melissa Westbrook said...

One legislator did say that he saw so many charter school kids over the last several weeks that he wondered when they were ever in school.

Anonymous said...

That's the beauty of ALE. ;)

Citizen Kane

Teacher Greg said...

I'm sure, however, that even without actually being in school their test scores will miraculously go up 5 grade levels.

Jan said...

Sigh -- can't tell you how much I hate having Ed Pettigrew as my representative. No clue quite how to go about figuring out if and how to send him packing (i.e. -- who else might want to run) but his craven support for charters -- despite the fact that Seattle voters did NOT vote yes for the charter initiative -- makes me want to retch. I hadn't really paid enough attention to how bad he was on school reform/neo-liberal/corporate ed stuff until that bizarre attempt, last year, to introduce legislation reducing local control of schools by having the mayor appoint two of the board members. No discussion in advance. Certainly not part of any "platform" of his. And really no justification when asked -- except some lame -- "well, maybe it would improve things -- how will we know unless we try it?" malarkey. When everyone who has been watching privatization on the national front knows -- it is just one page out of a thick charter school/privatization playbook.

Grrr. But -- I WILL call the Governor's office.

seattle citizen said...

Well, of COURSE their test scores will go up, Teacher Greg! Since state tests are the only measure of accountability for charter schools, you can be damn sure they do lots and lots...and lots of test prep. It's what charters do best.

Anonymous said...

By the way, thank you Melissa, for being willing to do the live blogging stuff. You are terrific.