Fairly Unified on the Education Front Against I-1240

The No On I-1240 campaign has released an open letter rejecting I-1240.  The people listed represent those from 260 school districts across Washington State.  That's nearly 90% of the school districts in the state. 

“The open letter shows that opposition to I-1240 is not bound by geography or income,” said Michael DeBell, Seattle School Board President. “It’s a bad plan for every student and parent in Washington, and that’s why so many people who have looked into I-1240 have come out against it.”

I was just at the Superintendent's State of the District event (more on that later) and there was a press conference downstairs at Perkins Coie with the Superintendent, President DeBell, our SPS labor leaders and other Board directors.  They all had a unified message - I-1240 is wrong for our state and our districts.

 President DeBell stressed that the timing for this discussion about charters is wrong until the McCleary decision is fully vetted and a plan rolled out for our EXISTING schools.  Indeed this has been the message from day one from both NO campaigns - we need to fully fund our existing schools before any new school system comes into being. 


Anonymous said…
Of course it's bad for the state. It is rife with built-in conflicts of interest between private authorizers and private charter operators.

When a charter authorizer is allowed to earn revenue from the charters they are supposed to be overseeing, meaningful oversight takes a distant back seat towards keeping that gravy train open and the money flowing.

Some believe that school board's will be the authorizers because they can under 1240. But where would Seattle's board, for example, have the time? They wouldn't. That's why 1240 allows those duties to be outsourced, along with funding, to a private authorizer.

It's privatization 101, period.

If you want to privatize public schools, support 1240. Everyone else should be against it, for obvious reasons. Like corruption.

Sorry, Michael, but doing the right thing probably cost you an invite to a Gates Foundation Xmas party! WSDWG
mirmac1 said…
Ah, but the Times has to put this quote in its story on the District Scorecard:

Parent Barbara Kelley, who is on the board of the Schools First-levy campaign committee, said she celebrates the schools that have made progress, but the district's overall results (in its five-year plan?) have made her decide to support the charter-school initiative (I-1240) that's on the November ballot. Kelley said she voted against charters in the past, but will support them this time because the district isn't improving fast enough.
Anonymous said…
I suppose Barbara thinks she's being helpful. But I seriously doubt she's read the legislation. In fact, I think very few supporters have read it. They either deny, or express disbelief when I tell them what it actually says. It's the money=speech world we live in. WSDWG
Unknown said…
That Reuven Carlyle recently expressed surprise at the conversion charter seems to back up the fact that many have not READ the iniatitive and merely "like" the idea of charter schools. It's a sad thing.
mirmac1 said…
Kelley is part of the PTSA Politburo. They do families a disservice.
Anonymous said…
I suspect the united front FINALLY came out (rather LATE) with names because polls are showing 1240 winning. So there's nothing to lose by saying you don't support (even if wink, wink, you really do) something that has a good chance of winning.

Politics makes good theater.

-not impressed

Unknown said…
Yes, Tim Burgess, when I asked him about 1240 at yesterday's State of the District event, said this:

"Melissa, I don't want to talk about this now. See you."

Fairly abrupt.
dw said…
Thanks for reporting on this Melissa, even if it's kind of a non-report; Tim Burgess made his statement by not making a statement.

He needs to be replaced.
Anonymous said…
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suep. said…
When I called Burgess' office earlier this week, and asked his position on I-1240, I was told by a staffer that city employees are not allowed to comment on state ballot initiatives. (?)

But this clearly has implications for our city, I said. But staffer remained cagey about Burgess' position and would not say what his position was on I-1240, or if he even had one.

I called the mayor's office too, just for fun. Staffer there said he didn't know and would get back to me.

Still waiting....

I also ran into Reuven Carlyle this week and asked him his views on the initiative and if he wasn't concerned about the "trigger" mechanism in it that would allow as few as 51 percent of parents or teachers in a school to convert that school to a charter, against the will of the other 49 percent.

He said that did concern him, but he plans to vote for it anyway. But he said he is not telling his constituents to vote for it.
Which begs the question: Does he support it or doesn't he? If he does think I-1240 is a great idea, then why doesn't he advocate for it?

Clearly our local pols are being slippery about their stance on I-1240, especially those with mayoral or higher aspirations.

And clearly they know that their support of I-1240 would not sit well with a number of their constituents.

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