The Roundtable works to effect positive change on public policy issues that are most important to supporting state economic vitality and fostering opportunity for all Washingtonians. That work includes sharing news and analyzing policy developments affecting our state.

Washington Legislature Acts to Save Public Charter Schools

The Washington Legislature came together last week in bipartisan fashion to pass a bill to save public charter schools. We’re thankful to legislators in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle for working together to pass a long-term solution for these schools. This fix will allow for the continued operation of eight charter schools that have already demonstrated impressive student achievement gains.  It will also allow for the expansion to 40 total public charter schools in the coming years.  This will have positive implications not just for the current 1,100 public charter school students in our state, but for countless Washington families in the future.

The Spokesman Review in Spokane, home to two public charter schools, wrote in an editorial:

“[The charter school fix is] a relief to the staff, students and their parents at the Spokane charter schools, which appear to be living up to their promise of providing substantive, engaging alternatives to traditional instruction.”

The measure is now on the desk of Governor Jay Inslee.  The Seattle Times Editorial Board urges him to act quickly:

“Gov. Jay Inslee should — without delay — sign ESSB 6194, a remedy for the concerns of the state Supreme Court, which threw out the voter-approved charter-school law in September. That ruling plunged the schools serving 1,100 students in the Seattle, Highline, Kent, Tacoma and Spokane school districts into disarray.”

The Yakima Herald weighs in as well, saying:

“The issue has hung in abeyance long enough, and Inslee should sign the bill and let the schools go about educating their 1,100 students.”

We applaud the Legislature for finding a solution that works. Act Now for Washington Students is also encouraging voters to thank lawmakers for their great work on this bill and show their support to Gov. Inslee as well. The coalition offers an opportunity for you to voice your support here.

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