We are deeply disappointed by the Washington State Supreme Court ruling public charter schools unconstitutional in our state. Whether or not the Court's decision has legal merit, there is no doubt that the result is morally wrong. It is an affront to our most vulnerable students.
Nearly 1200 Washington families have made the careful choice to send their children to high-quality public charter schools in pursuit of a better education for their children. Nine of the ten charter schools in the state have already started class for this school year. This ruling makes the future of those students uncertain.
The privilege of choosing a quality school for your child is one commonly exercised by those with means. This voter-approved law was designed to give that choice to the many families in Washington without alternatives.
It is for this reason that in nearly every part of the state with dense populations of people of color and high poverty rates, voters heavily favored public charter schools at the ballot in 2012.
The Washington State Charter Law was designed to ensure the highest quality public charter schools open in our state and has been recognized by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools as one of the best in the country.
The court’s decision must not prevent the 1200 students already enrolled in public charter schools from attending their chosen school. We call on the court to allow existing public charter schools to serve their children this year.
Furthermore, we call on the Governor and the legislature to take whatever action is necessary to enable Washington children to have high-quality charter schools, give families options, and fulfill the will of the people.
Photo: Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times