Charter Update - I Heart the Governor

Here's the latest from The Olympian story today. 

From the Governor (who is vastly irritated with all sides the longer this takes)

Never mind its contents: Gov. Chris Gregoire teed off on a Senate Republican budget plan backed by a coalition including three Democrats today, mainly because of the secret process that produced it. The Democrat told reporters it came as a surprise to parties that she has tried to bring together this week for inclusive, “five-corner” budget talks. And she said, the plan includes a charter-schools proposal she will automatically veto.

The governor does have some leverage. She says she won’t sign bills that lawmakers want if they don’t get on the stick and produce a budget that can be supported by 50 House members, 25 Senate members and one signature – hers.

She got me a little worried when I read this:

Asked if she would actually veto bills, Gregoire said: “I gave them a message today. My message is this: I’m not signing your bills. If you keep not making progress I won’t sign your bills.’’

That made it sound like she might sign bills if real progress is made on the budget but then:

Gregoire called the charter schools bill “extraneous” and a “waste of time.” “Get over charter schools,’’ she said, promising a veto. 

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:
Friday I'm in love.

From Senator Tom:

The Senate Republican plan includes several reforms – including a call for a limited experiment with charter schools. Sen. Tom said the charter-schools proposal is more limited this time. He said evidence shows charter school efforts actually work if they are done in focused, limited ways like he is proposing for just 10 failing schools. 

He may be right on that point in a few cases but sadly, that's not his bill.  

I called the Senator's office seeking clarity on the changes.  The only change in the bill that they knew of was that it would be just 10 schools.   The original bill was 10 schools a year.  Are we trying a one-time experiment with ten schools?  Even is that were his intent, that's not his bill.

Also, the bill would have to be re-written if it were to serve "failing" schools because (1) "failing" is not the language used in the bill and (2) the bill is not written in such a way that ONLY low-performing or "failing" schools could have charters.  It just isn't.

So I'm not really believing the Senator and since his office has nothing else to offer, I don't think there is a real change to this flawed bill.

Write the bill you keep talking about, Senator.

Do NOT stop calling and writing the Governor and as many legislators as possible.  Here's a link to legislators' e-mail addresses.  Thank you to SPSLeaks.

Leg. Emails Excel

Leg. Emails Word

From Someone said:

Unfortunately - scrib is down for maintainence right now - but when it's up - there is a button that says "download" in upper right corner of screen - click that, save Julian's file to your computer.

Read more here:

Read more here:


Anonymous said…
All it takes is for one charter franchise to get their foot in the door in a state and it's all over.

Arne Duncan has been pressuring states to lift the cap on charter schools and in many states the cap gets raised yearly based on outside pressure from big money.

In term of Gregoire, I would definitely keep the pressure on her. She was all over the teacher evaluation bill, she loved it and pushed for it so I wouldn't trust her with anything else.

She and our other representatives need to know that we don't want our schools privatized.

It's been voted down three times and after the Pettigrew episode one LD after another started to pass anti-charter resolutions.
And Dora, there's the new tension in states with charters.

The charter groups want caps lifted.

Meanwhile some states have wised up and said, "Hey where are the results? Why do we have so many charters that aren't doing what they said? We were supposed to be able to get rid of them easily and we can't."

That's the new fight in states with charters.
Anonymous said…
True Melissa. Even after performing poorly, they can't close them down. In fact, with Arne Duncan in power, it's easier to close a public school than a charter school.
Anonymous said…
Also hearting the Governor for saying this:
According to Jim Camden at The Spokesman-Review: “’I will veto it,’ Gregoire said of the charter schools addition, which is part of six reforms in the new budget proposal. ‘Stop wasting everybody’s time.’”
Indeed. Stop wasting everyone's time!!
Kathy said…

Do you know Sen. Murray's position on charter schools?
Kathy, I don't but I have talked to his office. I don't think he for them, mainly for the same reasons as the Governor.

I'll check in with his office tomorrow.
Disgusted said…
I'm a fortune teller. I predict a column from Lynne Varner very shortly.
Anonymous said…
The Guv is to be congratulated on blowing the whistle on deceptive legislative maneuvers ... well at least on charter schools.

Her actions on Common Core State Standards .... well that is another story.

-- Dan Dempsey
SPSLeaks said…

Disgusted said…
Rodney Tom is frustrated with Governor. He is using the tired "status quo" argument.:
Scrawny Kayaker said…
Nice Cure call-back!

I would protest that it's not yet Friday, but close enough.
Scrawny Kayaker said…
Disgusted, good prediction! I would put twenty bucks on Lynne Varner by Monday. If I was an aggressive gambler, $100 by Saturday would make it more interesting.
Anonymous said…
Huge exclamation point underlying the crapitude and profiteering Rodney Tom, the Republicans and Corporate Reform tried to shove at WA today:

That Spokesman Review article says that not only did they try to sneak charters back in, but the money to do so would have come by gutting the funding for the "collaborative" College/School District schools bill that *did* pass this Session.

To repeat: The Corporate Reformies only want to fund innovation where investors can make a buck. That is the ONLY explanation for the bait-and-switch from Collaborative schools to Charter schools funding.

Moral Bankruptcy personified.

Ed Voter
Anonymous said…
Well of course they want a piece of the pie. You are talking about $12 Billions annually in K-12 education. Public schools is the untapped future for public trough pay out. You don't see this much political maneuvering to help poor kids and families in the past did you? Did you see defections and sneaking in ways to better fund child health care coverage? How about for low income housing? Mental Health?

Do you see them demanding better management of all the millions from lottery sale? Washington state lottery brings in revenue of $523 million in 2011 and only $150 million is given to the state for education. The other $370 million is for prize money, commissions, and HUGH admin cost. And no one in Olympia seems to think this is a sham. What not worth defecting or sneaking an amendment to fix this?

- voter
Kayaker, you should call Tom Stritikus over at the UW COE. He told a vice-provost (who was concerned about the costs of their alt cert program just for TFA) that he would bet that TFA would make their numbers to support the program.

It was somewhere between 35-40.

Obviously, they only have 11 so it's running in the red.

Wish I had taken him up on that bet.
Sahila said…
@Voter.... is that $12Billion just the Washington State expenditure on K-12 public ed?

Nationally, the amount up for grabs by the privateers, is $600Billion/year...

Nice money if you can get your hands on it...
dan dempsey said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scrawny Kayaker said…
Melissa, it wouldn't be a fair bet since he can just call Ryan Blethen and ask if/when the editorial will run. Or call Melinda Gates and ask her to call Ryan Blethen and tell him when the editorial will run.

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