I-1240

The Washington State Charter School Commission will host nine public forums around the state this month regarding the 19 charter school proposals it is considering. The first one is  Monday afternoon in Spokane.

Each forum will focus on up to three proposals, and begin with a presentation from the charter applicants.

Nalini Prasanna / Flickr

Thirteen Washington districts formally expressed interest in being charter authorizers this spring, but only Spokane applied to the state by the July 1 deadline.

The first members of Washington state’s new Charter School Commission are due to be appointed Wednesday. The commission will be able to approve some of the 40 charter schools allowed under the law voters passed last fall.

A group that includes Washington’s largest teachers’ union has formally asked state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s new charter school law.

Nalini Prasanna / Flickr

The charter school initiative appears to have passed. The first charter schools would likely open their doors in Washington next school year, at the earliest. Here's the countdown of what's next.

Flickr Photo/ccarlstead (CC BY-NC-ND)

The initiative to allow charter schools in Washington is narrowly passing with 51 percent of the vote. This was the fourth time the state’s voters considered charter schools. Supporters said charters would expand students’ educational options because charters aren’t bound by district or union rules.

If Initiative 1240 passes, public school funding would finance each charter school created under the law.

Flickr Photo/ccarlstead (CC BY-NC-ND)

This fall, voters in Washington will decide whether to legalize charter schools in the state for the first time. Washington voters have considered charters three times before. But the details of charter school funding, oversight and independence can be confusing. So we took a red pen to claims by supporters and opponents of Initiative 1240, and gave each claim a grade to see who gets to go to the head of the class – and who needs to go back and check their work.

Seattle Public Schools

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.

Alice Walton
(AP Photo/April L. Brown)

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.

Classroom
Flickr photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC BY-NC-ND)

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.

Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda says he’ll vote “no” on Initiative 1240, which would legalize charter schools in Washington state.

I-1240 would allow up to 40 charter schools in Washington state over five years. Proponents of I-1240 say it would give parents and students more school choice.