Governor Says He's Announcing Charter School Bill Decision

Tomorrow, Friday, April 1st. 

Ironic because it's April Fools' Day (but who will be laughing?)

Ironic that yesterday when Governor was signing the education opportunity bill to support more underserved students - he dubbed it the Student Sunshine bill, to try to wipe out the gray of decades and decades of injustice - it was at Aki Kurose Middle School.  (That selection of school was not random; Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos of the 37th picked it.)

It's ironic because Aki Kurose was considered - just several years back - to be a "failing" school but now is a "growth" school with a steady rise over several years in test scores.  As well, they have falling discipline rates.  And, their principal, Mia Williams, was just named Middle School Principal of the Year for Washington State.  All these things that charters claim just aren't happening in public schools and yet, there you go.

And think of what Ms. Williams and her staff could do with fully-funded education for the students at Aki Kurose.

Back to the Governor, what do I think he will do?

First, he won't veto it outright.  He's a little too scared of the big money people out there and the idea of "closing schools" seems to give him the vapors.

And, since he said he will announce a decision, he's not going to just allow it to pass into law as he could have on Saturday.

What he's likely to do is split the baby.  

Meaning, he will approve the bill but only for those eight schools.  He will probably veto the part about expansion of more charter schools pending an analysis of the law by the AG or ask for an expedited ruling from a court.  He's too smart to allow such a rushed bill that clearly has issues to just become law.  (If that happened, I think we'd see it just get challenged again and, if more charter schools were open, then even more families would be affected. Who would want that?)

I would be okay with the split the baby choice because it seems fair and, anyway, I think the law is unconstitutional and will be found so.

That charter supporters seem to like this hamster wheel of spinning around in circles is odd to me but they do not appear to be able to write a constitutional charter school law for Washington State.


Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph Rockne said…
I bet he signs the bill. His remarks will be along the lines of, "now let's roll up our sleeves and come together for all the students...."

A short look at the history and law of line item vetoes in this state convinced me that he won't go down that route.

Kicking the can down the road to wait for an AG opinion isn't an option. Gov can veto, or let pass into law. Nor can the governor change or limit the number of schools. That would be amend ending the law.

How many votes does Inslee lose if he signs the bill?
NO 1240 said…
Tomorrow, the Governor is set to sign a long list of bills. The charter school bill is NOT on the list.

I suspect the governor will allow the bill to pass into law and litigants would have an opportunity to request an expedited hearing. It is possible for the governor to veto the bill, but would the bill nee to be on the docket for him to do so?
Catherine said…
Funny how that bill consistently is missing from various lists...
Anonymous said…
reposting for anonymous, with whom I agree.

"Will children even want to sign up if the governor says I think this is unconstitutional, but I'm signing it anyways? Will teachers want to teach, or will they just look for greener pastures? And will school boards go along with the Alternative Learning Experience hoops when they realize just how much money they are losing from not having the students?

This idea of splitting the baby is interesting, but another option is to say "we know the charter school funders have provided ample reserves for the charter schools to continue. I am dedicated to the welfare of all kids in the state, and let's be real, education is not fully funded. So, the funders can pay for the charters, they can put forth a ballot initiative that is constitutional per the guidelines set by the Supreme Court, the voters can vote and meanwhile I'm not going to string these kids and their families along with a false expectation."

To do otherwise rewards the funders for their duplicity, lack of concern for the law, and their own agendas coming ahead of a million kids.

But, the funders have lots of money. And it is re-election time. So, I bet Melissa's scenario is what happens.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Melissa, the section you refer to as an allowance for the expansion to 40 charter public schools is IN FACT the section that limits the number of charter public schools to 40. If the governor vetoes this section, then there is no limit. I'm pretty sure charter advocates would rejoice at this veto.

All indications are they he will simply not sign the bill. He will not veto the bill. Then it's likely to head to court as is.

--- aka
AKA, I'm not sure my reading agrees with your reading but we'll see. If "all indications" are that he will allow it to slip into law, why announce that what he's doing today? Seems easier to just let it happen and then say something.

Letting it slip in to law will only shore up the belief that his spine is not so strong.
NO 1240 said…
The last time a bill slipped into law was 1981.
NO 1240 said…
8 bills just added for action at 2:45 today - no charter schools on list.

Inslee's staff said he has until Saturday to make a decision.

There was a rally to encourage Inslee to VETO charter legislation in Olympia on Thursday.

Anonymous said…
Well, well.

--- aka
Anonymous said…
And - the verdict is - he did nothing - officially allowing the bill go forward without a veto OR a signature. He's not for it, but says won't close schools. What a total cop out Mr. Inslee. A true and unequivocal cop out. Shame on you. Whatever happened to our political leaders having the "courage of their convictions" - bleahhhhh

Anonymous said…
Melissa called it.

I am disappointed in Inslee. Way to stand behind your beliefs, Gov. I particularly like how he let it pass into law but made sure to release a memo about how he didn't like it.

You just gave public money to private companies with little oversight. I am sure the billionaires will appreciate getting money to dabble with from the government for their little hobby.

I am not voting for any republican for governor, but I am disappointed I will be holding my nose now.

Anonymous said…
Melissa called it?

She said he'd split the baby and veto a section.

--- aka
Brian Duncan said…
Gov Inslee:

I appreciate it's a tough call on the charters bill. By all means, compassion for innocent and deserving charter students and families. But it's illegal to spend public funds on what are essentially private schools, with insufficient accountability and transparency. It is also anti union, and thus, antithetical to Democratic party values. Finally, it is anti equity in the long run, as only public schools serve all students on an equitable basis, and should be made to do so through public accountability process, unlike private charters, however gussied up they are as "public" charters. The legislature made a bad call, and your decision to abstain on the bill enables this, and is little better than signing it.

Please reconsider your roots and bedrock democratic principles, and Democratic party values. I believe you should veto this charters fix bill.

Brian Duncan

PS, please consider this from John Adams, 1785, cited in Diane Ravitch's Reign of Error book:

"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expense of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves."

The concept of public versus private schools has evidently been subject of debate for quite a while!

Anonymous said…

I didn't phrase my response well after my disappointment with the Governor's weak actions. Melissa was correct in that he would chicken out and not veto the entire bill as he should have done.

I was holding out hope that he would do what WA state democrats are supposed to do and oppose charter schools. He did not.

joanna said…
I wish Melissa had called it (that is veto the portion allowing for additional charter schools) compared to my understanding of what happened. My understanding is that he is going to let it go forward as is, no signature and no veto of anything.
A couple of things:

- I think AKA was right. I talked to a legislator earlier in the day who said that there was no way to sever out certain parts (and I'm sure that was by design.)

- Joanna posted the Governor letter to the Sec'y of State on this bill and man, that is one sad posting.

- Will it go back to court? Depends but I would think so given that it appears to have constitutional weakness to me. The Act for Washington Students gives a point by point why it IS constitutional (addressing the Supreme Court's ruling) however they forgot that the Court said it did NOT address all the plaintiffs issues. As well, there is still that pesky issue of the role of the state superintendent that is embedded in the constitution. Putting him/her on the Charter Commission is not elected oversight.

It would be sad, though, if in a year from now, we're in the same place with even MORE charter families affected. But that's the risk that many, many people - elected and otherwise - have chosen.
One last thing on the Governor - you announce this at 3:30 pm on a Friday at the end of a long session?
Anonymous said…
Melissa didn't call it. If she understood how partial vetoes worked, she would know an entire SECTION has to be vetoed.

It is this sloppy thinking that pervades most comments about charters and other education issues on this blog. Now, I will officially stop reading (since she will censor me anyway).

Bill Crudup
A Bernie Sanders Supporter
Anonymous said…
Melissa, please, you're not really criticizing the Governor for the timing of his release when you had ZERO sympathy in regard to the Supreme Court's Friday afternoon announcement. So disingenuous.

--- aka
NO 1240 said…
"I appreciate it's a tough call on the charters bill. By all means, compassion for innocent and deserving charter students and families"

The engrossed version of SB6194 is a false promise to charter students and their families.
AKA, go back and read what I said. I used the word "abysmal."
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