Friday, December 11, 2015

Washington State Charter News Breaking Fast

Statement from the Washington State Charter Schools Association on First Place Scholars, the first charter school in Washingon, closing as a charter and going back to being a private school:

We support First Place Scholars in its decision to pursue converting back to a tuition-free independent school model – a model that was successful for years and made First Place the one the first schools to truly serve some of Washington’s most underserved populations. First Place will lean on 25 years of experience as a tuition-free independent school during this time of uncertainty, doing what’s best to serve their students."

I have asked some questions to WSCSA about grant money being provided by WSCSA to these charters as my source told me that First Place had to agree to at least one stipulation about what grade range they would continue being in order to receive those dollars.

An announcement of a charter school forum in Pasco.  This is a rather interesting venue as Pasco has no charters nor, to the best of my recollection, has there ever been a charter application from there.

The forum, organized by the Washington Charter Schools Association, League of Education Voters and Act Now for Washington Students, will include discussion by proponents of charter schools about how they could help close achievement gaps between student groups.

Several state elected leaders will be at a forum Dec. 12 to discuss public charter schools in the state.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/education/article49156485.html#storylink=cpy

I think this is less about talking about closing achievement gaps and more about whipping up support for legislators to rewrite the law.

The West Seattle Blog is reporting this:

The organization that was planning to open West Seattle’s first charter school in the former Freedom Church space at 35th and Roxbury is putting the plan on hold for at least a year.

From Summit Atlas staff:

Unfortunately, with the state Supreme Court ruling public charter schools “unconstitutional,” we have had to make some difficult decisions. While we are still deeply committed to opening a middle/high school in West Seattle, we have decided to delay opening Summit Atlas until the 2017‐18 school year as we work toward a legislative fix that will ensure public charter schools have a secure future in the state of Washington.

I know this is incredibly disappointing to our families and students in West Seattle who are eager to enroll their students next fall. I want to encourage those of you with incoming 9th and 10th graders to consider Summit Sierra.
More updates as I get them.

Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/education/article49156485.html#storylink=cpy


No 1240 said...

OSPI sent charter schools their last check in November. Defunct charter schools must create inventory lists. Public assets must be returned back to the state. Public assets are defined as items purchased with at least 25% public dollars.

No 1240 said...

The MWSD continues to move forward and look at the ALE opportunities. They have no set deadline for a decision.

Washington charter schools are non existent. Former charter schools seeking ALE status in eastern Washington are not being overseen by OSPI. Who is responsible for the students in these schools.

Charlie Mas said...

IF the charter schools are not schools anymore, then how are charter school students not in violation of truancy laws or compulsory attendance laws?

Melissa Westbrook said...

As for First Place, they may have already converted to being private. I'm not sure about the others. I can ask OSPI but they have been hard to reach.

Watching said...

"IF the charter schools are not schools anymore, then how are charter school students not in violation of truancy laws or compulsory attendance laws?"

Charlie, OSPI is providing about 4 exceptions for existing charter schools. The exceptions revolve around student transfers, funding and enrollment numbers. It should be noted that OSPI sent their last check to charter schools in November. There are attempts to make charter schools ALE and Dorn is willing to extend the apportionment date until December 31st. If existing charter schools are not converted to ALE by December 31st...Will Dorn be willing to provide another extension for apportionment? s

You can reference OSPI's document. Melissa placed OSPI's document on the blog....look to one of the first stories regarding OSPI bending the rules for existing charter schools.

At this point, I don't think charter schools have oversight. The Charter Commission is disbanding, and charter schools are not under OSPI's authority. OSPI is playing fast and loose, and I believe attempts are being made to stall for upcoming legislative session.

It would be nice if the Seattle Times and other publications had a story. Credit to the authors of this blog.

Watching said...

Lastly, Charlie, despite the fact that charter schools are non-entities within Wa. State law...OSPI will provide existing charter school students with academic credit for this year.