Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Big Money Rolling in for Charter Initiative

Well that didn't take long.

Crosscut is reporting that the initiative is receiving a $4M boost from the Gates Foundation and $1M from Nick Hanauer (and I suspect the rest is from Stand or some other booster).

Oddly, LEV has nothing on its site about sponsoring this bill.

Bad news for Dem candidates:

Speaking of Jay Inslee, if the charter initiative does go forward, watch for the anti-charters Washington Education Association, the teachers' union, to match the charter camp in spending, which will drain a traditional source of money away from the Democrats in the governor's race.

I think this assessment is true but that's what happens when people in political parties split over a single issue.

I wonder if people will have a reaction to that kind of money being spent on an education measure (either way).  

I have read through the initiative which uses the charter legislation bill as a template.

There is some definite tweaking which I will have to ponder for possible outcomes.  They did do some good things to make this a better bill/initiative but left in a lot to argue against.  I will probably not say much at this point as I'm not going to help the other side out with their campaign. 

There are some groups around the state joining together to fight this initiative.  The WEA can fight it on their turf but it seems to be common wisdom that it will be the pro-charter folks against the teachers union.  That might make for a good story but it will not be the case.  There will be lots of others who have no association and nothing to do with the union.


mirmac1 said...

I am going to Facebook charter factoids to everyone I can. Does anyone know of a good summary of the quality research showing charters are a big FAIL!

Sahila said...

good website for charter FAILURES (actual failures, not stats) is Charter School Scandals....

Sahila said...

and I am sure that Dora's Seattle Ed site has a bunch of research on charter failures.... look on the right hand sidebar....

Anonymous said...

Melissa you are mistaken. LEV does mention its support of the charter push right in the first post of its blog.

In its SECOND post, it notes it is now giving political endorsements via its 'LEV PAC'. Wow. The group gets more Stand for Children-like every day. How unfortunate.

Just got a friend's email pointing me to Rep. Reuven Carlyle's blog. In which he salutes his friend Hanauer and has a longwinded ramble about 'innovative' education reforms. He is pretty soundly smacked down in the comments afterward. Worth a read.


Anonymous said...

Frankly, if Dems looses in some of the elections because they are wasting money and splitting votes, then it's the party machinery fault for letting themselves be distracted and split in this way. Good political operatives would alreaay have this cover in their playbook. Dont' take voters for granted. Not this election year, barrage of negative stuff coming from the national election will stick to local candidates even if we are a one party town and state. It's still about a lot of anger and the economy.


Maureen said...

You know what's weird, I have pretty much forgotten that the Alliance for Education exists as an entity (nominally) separate from LEV. All of those orgs are now mushed together is one big pile in my mind. I wonder how Sara Morris feels about becoming a wholey-owned subsidiary of Chris Korsmo?

Anonymous said...

$4 MILLION from Gates and $1 MILLION from Hanauer to push charter schools?

This is just out of hand. Now no doubt various associations and unions will push back with their own anti-charter dollars.

What a waste of money and conversation at a time when there are more important education priorities in WA state.

I blame the PACs of Stand for Children and LEV and Democrats for Education Reform for pushing this crap conversation on us right now. Thanks for getting everyone riled up and throwing money down rabbit holes instead of to our children in need.

Mary B.

P.S. I just posted the same thought on Reuven Carlyle's blog, mentioned in the post before mine.

Anonymous said...

Mary B... great comment on the Carlyle blog post. As was Andrews. Both capture my sentiments exactly.

-sps mom

Charlie Mas said...

Stand for Children has announced their early endorsements:

For the Washington State House of Representatives:

Reuven Carlyle (D-36) North Seattle, Ballard, Magnolia

Judy Clibborn (D-41) Mercer Island, Bellevue, Sammamish

Cyrus Habib (D-48) Bellevue, Redmond

Chad Magendanz (R-5) Issaquah, Snoqualmie, North Bend, Maple Valley

Eric Pettigrew (D-37) South Seattle, Renton

Larry Springer (D-45) Sammamish, Kirkland, Woodinville

For the Washington State Senate:

Bruce Dammeier (R-25) Pierce County, Puyallup

Mike Hewitt (R-16) Walla Walla

Steve Litzow (R-41) Mercer Island, Bellevue, Sammamish

Stand plans to release the remaining legislative endorsements in June.

Po3 said...

Sad to think how many new textbooks and tutors that money could buy to help our students - now.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ed Voter, that was put up after I wrote the thread.

Anonymous said...

I wish the$7 milllions could have been used to lobby for properly funding this state education as our state's Supreme Court has ruled. Instead, for some reason, the focus is on a few charter schools and even if they are in the 100's, they are nothing compare to the over a MILLION kids attendng K-12 public schools across this state. That's over 2,000 public schools.

ALL this effort and attention over the very few. Meanwhile the majority of our kids are stuck in poorly funded schools. And we want to spend more money for more bureaucracy. This is good for public education? This makes no sense!

-PS mom

Someone said...

Some interesting quotes from the "pro" side in this Ed Week blog post

Chasing Signatures for Charter Schools in Washington State

Anonymous said...

Boy, Gate's $4 million and Hanauer's $1 million could provide alot of direct dollars to schools that don't have PTA's to raise money for all those extras including teachers positions! Let's see, say you gave $100,000 to each school.....Gates could provide 40 schools, Hanauer at least ten, and then all the families/parents/friends/teachers/caregivers that work so hard to raise any sort of funds for those schools could actually help right in the classroom or resource/career center (oops, that's closed).....

Two and a quarter years to go

Kathy said...


You've listed Stand's early endorsement list. Where did you find this?

Charlie Mas said...

The list of Stand for Children's Early Legislative Endorsements came from their blog.

CT said...

Maybe this is a ploy by Stand and others to divert funds from WEA support of Inslee so that McKenna ends up as gov and they get their charter schools via the legislature. This initiative may just be a red herring.