The Seattle School Board said a unanimous "no" to charter schools last night. The board members approved a resolution against Initiative 1240, which would bring up to 40 charter schools to Washington over five years.
The campaign to bring charter schools to Washington state has now raised more cash than any other measure on the ballot. Donors have contributed more than $8.9 million to the Yes on 1240 campaign. Of that, 91 percent came from just ten people, according to the Public Disclosure Commission website.
Jane Wong never got to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up: her parents decided for her. “They decided that I would go into medical school,” she told RadioActive’s Kamna Shastri. “They decided that for my brother too. That was from when I was little, so I’ve sort of grown into the idea.”
This November, voters once again have the chance to weigh in on whether to set up charter schools in Washington state. Forty-one states currently allow charter schools; Initiative 1240 is the fourth attempt since 1996 to pass a charter school law here. Supporters of charter schools say they will allow for more diversity and flexibility in education. Opponents argue charters lack a record of success and will mean a loss of revenue for public education.
Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn has asked for an additional $4.1 billion for basic education in his biennial budget proposal, a 39 percent increase compared to the current budget. Dorn says that’s what it’ll take for the state Legislature to fulfill its constitutional duty to fully fund K-12 education.
Marcus Pimpleton talks a lot about family. When he's teaching music, Pimpleton might compare a decrescendo to the way teens yell at their parents: they start loudly, but quickly get quiet when they realize it's a bad idea.
"People [in the band] appreciate you and treat you like family," Pimpleton told RadioActive's Farhan Vohra. He was describing the close-knit group of 150 students and mentors from the greater Seattle area who participate in the All-City Band. "They make it a comfortable place to be who you are."