Things Are Getting Interesting

District updates:

I asked the Board about their stand on I-1240 and received this reply from President DeBell:

A Resolution opposing I-1240 is on next week's agenda  for introduction and action.  It was recommended unanimously by the Executive Committee to the full Board at yesterday's meeting and will be posted tomorrow. 

This follows the Renton School Board's rejection of I-1240 as well.  

So here how it is lining up against I-1240:
Community groups, many legislators and other elected officials, the Washington State PTA, the Washington State School Directors Association, the Association of School Administrators, the principals' association, numerous labor groups, and, I predict, a huge number of specific school boards. 

On the other side:
Billionaires, LEV, Stand, DFER, many editorial boards and all the people who believe that by voting for charters they stick it to the teachers union.  (I say the latter because I have tracked the editorials and two things are apparent.  Most of the editorial boards did NOT read the initiative because they get basic details wrong.  Two, the comments from those editorials reflect a deep anger at the teachers union.  Oddly, I never hear this anger at the police or firefighters unions.)

There might be more on the Yes side except that they have NO endorsement listing at their site.  None.  Almost as if they are embarrassed at how few groups support them and/or the actual people who do.

Also, from the Stranger Slog, a weigh-in from a constitutional scholar at UW who thinks I-1240 violates two parts of the Constitution.  One is fairly obvious as there is a term "common school" in the Constitutionn which makes clear schools have to have local oversight.  The other is the business of selling/leasing school property for less than it is worth.

I would point out that there are still other legal, though non-Constitutional, issues.

One, I believe that I-1240 may violate the one topic rule for initiatives because of the conversion charter.

Two, I believe that requiring the entire Charter Commission to be of one mind on an issue is probably illegal in some manner.  It's hard to understand how anyone on the Commission could be objective if they practically have to swear allegiance to charter schools.  

Still another District update, this from KUOW.  

It appears the only money the district will get back from the mispent/lost funds from the Silas Potter scandal is insurance money of $280,000 which is the amount Silas & Company funneled to themselves.That is because that is the only amount that is a direct "loss" - the other amount is unclear and so considered "misspent."  Hilariously, Ron English, District counsel, says perhaps they could recover some through "restitution."  Good luck with that.


Anonymous said…
Latest I-1240 coverage in Vancouver & Spokane


Some weekend reading and great comment from Melissa in Spokane comment section.

Public School Parent
Nick Esparza said…
Melissa's hopeless attempt of fighting off charter schools with circular arguments seems counter productive. You're making arguments like you are critiquing great food or wine.

It seems kind of useless to have a comeback or solution at the last minute of the elections. I have said this a million times, no offense or defense. It is like the "sky is falling blog."

Perhaps if you ran radio ads and put out signs earlier, the yes vote would not be up 49%. It is not just you it is the limp wristed teachers whom can't fight back, the inept school district whom have allowed charter schools to flourish.

I for one will be voting against charter schools. But again you are preaching to the converted. You have to reach the undecided. This is a campaign. You have to use all your media sources and get your word out early.


Here are some things you can do next time:
1. Came out earlier with a campaign and or;
2. Could have involved bigger stake holders than just this blog and its followers and or;
3. You could have made a YouTube video or several of them about why they are bad with links to other sites and your blog and or;
4. You could have done a better job raising money early on and or;
5. You should have ran this campaign on every inch of the state and or;
6. Lastly, you could have made this about the people it concerns instead of yourself.

You at save the Seattle blog throwing gas on the fire and then call 9-1-1 at the last minute. You make it seem so bad or look bad before offering solutions.

In closing, it is not a thing where you are critiquing the situation, but it should be about how to solve it, taking the situation and tearing it apart and telling us point by point why it is good or bad.
Anonymous said…
New article @Washington State Wire

Public School Parent
seattle citizen said…
So, uh, Nick, what have YOU done? Did you come out with some ads or YouTube videos? Did YOU rally some big-name opponents?

While I agree that it would be nice to have a more organized, better funded opposition, I haven't seen YOUR work on this.

This is blog. Melissa is one person, and, I might aff, regular ol' person who has a life - education is not her career. She doesn't pay herself to be the leader of the No on I1240 campaign.

Jeez. Cut her some slack. Until we see YOUR name heading an opposition movement.

Lastly, how exactly does one find eight million dollars to fund an opposition against such a well-heeled opponent? Money buys eyes and ears. How much have YOU donated to No on I-1240, Nick?
Unknown said…

You really need to take a dose of your own medicine.

I think Melissa has done an absolutely admirable job. It is very disheartening to hear your attack of unpaid volunteer. How exactly is she supposed to get millions and millions of dollars to oppose the campaign?

Next time you want to take aim at a volunteer, take them from the trenches, when you have pulled your own weight. Otherwise, your criticisms are just cheap pot shots.
Juana said…

Nick, our democracy protects our right to speak our mind, but could you please be more civil? Thank you.
Carol Simmons said…
NIck, I usually agree with most of what you say, but not about Meliaa's attempts at fighting off charter schools. Melissa has done more than anyone I know to speak out and go out against charter's. I heard her again at the Met Dem Club meeting yesterday. I thought that she might be "preaching to the choir" but there were so many interested people present with honest questions which she answered with patience and knowledge. She debated Tim Ceis the other evening and that was a challenge, as Mr. Ceis has quite a presence. You must be very frustrated as this post is not like you. The Nick I know is a kind person.

Anonymous said…
If the school board votes to oppose, and I hope,hope, hope they do, and I even think they will, the collective heads of LEV, stand, Alliance, DFER will spin so severely we may have a wind event in the area. that will not go over well.

I emailed the board in support of a vote to oppose. I suspect they are being lobbied mightily right about now. Let's not let those be the only voices heard.

Go school board ! No on 1240

-blast donor
Anonymous said…
And nick. Anyone whose comment is "you suck at messaging" should look inside their heart. You would do well to heed your own feedback and undertake some improved messaging yourself.

-blast donor
Anonymous said…
That a no on charters unanimously came from the executive board is the only bright spot I can point to in DeBell's board presidency this past year.

Can't wait for the full vote. Wonder what Harium Martin-Morris who has been positioning himself for a state education board position for the last 4 years will do.

Wonder how Steve Sundquist "I don't support charters while running for school board but now that I lost I'm BFF with LEVites MacFarlane and Hanauer and running around town campaigning for them" will feel about seeing his ex-board vote Thumbs Down.

Anonymous said…
Busy comment section for Jerry Cornfield article @ Everett Herald

Public School Parent
Anonymous said…
Unfortunately, the list of opponents, including local school boards, of I-1240 is easy for the supporters to spin --- from their point of view ALL of these groups are protectors of the status quo. They (the ed reformers) are the only true, moral voices for the disenfranchised. The rest are just trying to keep their jobs and protect the adults in the system.

--- Spin Doctor
Jan said…
I have privately been nursing the ideas that Hugh Spitzer discusses in the Stranger for some time -- and wondering how in the heck to finance a constitutional challenge -- because while Hugh has WAY WAY more constitutional law chope than I (or most other people) do -- I think he is spot on (and I didn't even know about the "common schools" decision.

Regardless of whether some version of charter schools could ever be a good idea (and I think it could -- but not in any form I currently see them in), I totally believe that the ed reform crowd has gotten too greedy. In trying to figure out how to transfer public assets (tax revenues but even more importantly, capital assets paid for with ed levies and state taxes), they have totally overreached. I am astounded by the idea that they have proposed (and voters who have NOT read the bill, and think they are getting "greater" choice and community control) conversion schools that on the vote of a majority of either parents or teachers can be turned over to charters -- with some "pro rata share" of levy money attached -- even though NO large scale manager of capital assets would EVER manage capital funds that way.

When you stand back and look at the balance between the "transfer of public assets and funding to private entities" provisions, versus anything in these bills that actually helps students, provides greater accountability, or more choice -- it is BLINDINGLY obvious that this legislation is about asset transfer -- not improving educational choice or achievement.
Unknown said…
DistrictWatcher, Steve Sundquist is at the top of my list of people who will want to be on the Charter Commission. But it would seem that being telling mistruths would disqualify him.
Jan said…
"Mistruths," Melissa? How droll! Methinks you have had to sit through too many meetings with the "truthiness" folks lately. It is affecting your writing.
Anonymous said…
Steve Sundquist did contribute to the 1240 charter scammers. Perhaps he is hoping his $250 will buy him a spot on the charter commission?

Dorothy Neville said…
Sundquist gave a lot more than that to DFER which gave money to YES 1240

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