Saturday, April 02, 2016

Governor allows charter school bill to become law

Governor Jay Inslee, by taking no action, has allowed the charter school bill, SB 6194, to become law,

See the Seattle Times article.


beef said...

Ugh. Thanks for wasting our money and time, Inslee.

NO 1240 said...

I agree, beef. The state will spend more money on lawsuits. Please take note that House Representative Larry Springer (D) sponsored the charter bill. Here is what he had to say:

"I mean, if I were them, I’d be planning my lawsuit- said Springer."

I'm anticipating $1M getting diverted to the Charter Commission, as well.

Anonymous said...

Why does there have to be another lawsuit? Is this really what the WEA wants to spend its time, money, and energy on when McCleary is going to be the big lift?

I'm just bewildered that everyone thinks a lawsuit is inevitable.

--- aka

seattle citizen said...

There has to be another lawsuit because the charter industry continues to try to foist the privatization of public education onto Washington State, spending millions to deceptively advertise in order to squeeze a narrow victory after three, loud "No!" votes; creating a charter law that was unconstitutional; losing in court and creating ANOTHER unconstitutional law.
Charters aren't public schools, and it is only just and right that the well-funded industry be fought tooth and nail. It truly IS "for the kids."

Melissa Westbrook said...

AKA, I like the constitution. It's kinda what stitches together our society. This bill, I believe, is unconstitutional. As well, the original law? Still in King County Superior court.

Anonymous said...

Inslee is very disappointing in many ways. I think the state Supreme Court should hold the legislature in contempt again for finding additional money for charter schools that they could not find for public schools.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, you're not an attorney. You've made this clear.

Non-partisan legislative staff attorneys looked at SB 6194 and said, numerous times, that this bill is constitutional. I tend to believe these people more than activist bloggers on legal matters.

--- aka

Anonymous said...

Melissa, that came off more harshly than I intended. I apologize.

But here's my point, this bill is not on its face unconstitutional --- many legal experts without a dog in the fight gave this bill a legal analysis and called it good. The court might not agree but I don't think anyone with a legal background thinks this is a slam dunk.

--- aka

seattle citizen said...

Didn't lawyers look at 1240 with the same sort of certainty before THAT was launched?
It seems clear to me that the Cour wants public schools to have elected boards. It makes sense. Taking money from a different pit doesn't abrogate that, it's just a shell game.

Melissa Westbrook said...

AKA, agreed - it's not a slam dunk either way.

Josh Hayes said...

First, Governor, you're a weenie. Is the bill a good thing? Then sign it. Is it a bad thing? Then veto it. This "gosh, I have my doubts, but, gee, I just dunno", attitude is not what we hired you to do. Geesh.

Second, as to why you think the WEA would sue over this, I think they regard this as a "camel's nose" situation: once you let the nose in, sooner or later, there's a camel in your tent. Since the main purpose of charter schools, based on who supports them, is to do away with teacher's unions, the WEA regards this as a priority. I agree. (Disclaimer; while I am a member of the WEA, I do not speak for them.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Josh, for being honest that, for the WEA, this was never about the kids but about the adults and their protections.

I applaud your courage in telling the truth.

--- aka

Outsider said...

It's fine to note that Gov. Inslee wimped out, but the question remains why. Did he think a veto would cost him re-election? Either because charter proponents have enough public support, or would deploy enough cash, to beat him?

Or did he make a mistake, and pass up what would have been a popular and winning veto?

Presumably he would have vetoed the law if he were following his heart, oblivious to consequences. Does this mean his political consultants and advisers tested the winds and told him he had to wimp out?

Robert Cruickshank said...

aka, the authors and defenders of I-1240 also swore up and down it was constitutional. It wasn't, as was obvious to most outside observers. Many of the same problems identified by the courts in I-1240 remain in SB 6194.

Opposition to charter schools is much deeper and broader than just teachers unions. We've seen this in other states and we will now see it here in Washington.

Most opposition to charter schools stems from the fact that they are not very good for kids. The child abuse that takes place at Success Academy is but one of the more notable examples.

But enough about the opponents. Will charter supporters be satisfied with this? Or should we expect them to start demanding that the 40 school cap be raised, and that they get funds from sources other than the state lottery?

Anonymous said...

Robert, the difference between the initiative and SB 6194 is that the initiative writers were flying blind and the non-partisan legislative staff attorneys have the benefit of court decisions from which to respond. Plus, the former could not in any way have predicted that the SC would have created precedent by declaring the entire General Fund unconstitutional because it's co-mingled with the Common School Fund.

Second, I am not so dense as to imagine that opposition to charter schools is relegated only to teachers' unions. I know opposition exists among other groups. However, opposition among other groups tends to be among allies to the unions, e.g., Soup for Teachers.

Third, there is no evidence whatsoever that charters are "not very good for kids." Your cherry-picking of data notwithstanding. Choosing one particular charter school or charter school network is a cheap shot and you know it. Should I begin to post the egregious violations of student rights perpetrated against students in traditional public schools that are reported on a regular basis? We could do this every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

--- aka

Melissa Westbrook said...

Aka, really, you are a lot more reasonable than some other people but please, "the initiative writers were flying blind?"

No, they were not. They said they wrote "the best charter law in the country." Over and over and over. They told audiences it was vetted. (I know, I was on multiple debate panels. As well, I'm assuming because Gates paid for so much, he paid for some lawyer to look it over.).

My belief is that the initiative supporters were told it was problematic but damn the torpedoes, they went for it. (I mean, that parent/teacher conversion clause? There wasn't another one like it in the entire country.).

Again, they gambled with kids' academic lives and lost. And I suspect that's just what the legislature and the Governor just did. But time will tell.

MIss Waterlow said...

inslee knew he'd get hit if he signed it and get hit if he didn't. Not signing, which is the same as signing, in effect, was merely politically cautious. I'm more sympathetic than a lot of people to politicians making compromises to keep their jobs (so they can do the good work they think they can do), but not on this one. His statement didn't do anybody any good. He comes across as weak and unprincipled. I don't like it one bit.

NO 1240 said...

Supporters want charter schools for poor children, but it should be noted that The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was in opposition to I 1240.

I've already seen a call to lift the caps on charter schools.

seattle citizen said...

"However, opposition among other groups tends to be among allies to the unions, e.g., Soup for Teachers."
They're not allies to the unions, they're allies to the teachers.
The charter industry has never been allies to public school teachers; on the contrary, they vilify them. It's one of their main tools to gain traction.

Anonymous said...

Love how Inslee spinelessed-out on charters and in contrast today's Times says he reached into Montana over another governor's pleadings to try to shut down 2 coal plants. Inslee has been a consistently strong D in policy on only one thing- climate change. He doesn't seem able to do much about it in WA, so now the Montana move. In fact, he hasn't done much in WA period. Only other big move of note was the Boeing firedrill tax breaks to keep McNerney from further decimating our hometown. And that bloodlet further sucked money from school funding options. He didn't try to rectify the situation. He hasn't pushed legislature to get its act together. He hasn't done much for human services either. And he comes off as a big doofus when he steps up to a podium.

I feel the pain that the Repubs must feel for their nominee prospects. Like them I won't vote for my party's (gov) nominee this fall. One less sure-thing Seattle vote for the huge D disappointment who is Inslee.


Brian Duncan said...

I think most people feel that teachers are not the enemy. A smaller number, but still a majority, at least of Dems, believes that teachers unions are also not the enemy. Perhaps similar to views of unions in general which have done so much to create a middle class, and a more humane society in general, both here, and worldwide.
While the anti union leg of the tripod of the major charter concept flaws is a key one, so too are the others: non-inclusiveness because they don't have to be and there is pressure to increase test scores by selecting for high achieveing students only; and avoiding accountability to voters by not having locally elected school boards they must answer to. They are essentially private schools, whether they happen to be effective and great, or middle range, or indeed horrible on the other end of spectrum (abusive, authoritarian, 19th century style discipline, etc).
Teacher unions should rightly oppose charters as they are indeed an existential threat to unionism, since they expressly prohibit teacher unions. That doesn't make unions bad guys. The SEA, in particular, in the last strike negotiations, negotiated for improved student conditions, not just teacher work conditions and compensation, with some important success.
People support charters for a variety of reasons, some defensible, and some not. One that is not, is villification of teachers and teacher unions. One of the reasons for high teacher attrition rates is their feelings of being unappreciated by many people in our society.
Brian Duncan

mirmac1 said...

West Seattle continues to suffer the arrogance of Summit (insert grandiose name here).