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Who We Are »
Betsy Combier

Help Us to Continue to Help Others »
Email: betsy.combier@gmail.com

 
The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Joan Klingsberg
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Jim Calantjis
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
 
Washington State Supreme Court Rules That Charter Schools are Unconstitutional
“The Supreme Court has affirmed what we’ve said all along – charter schools steal money from our existing classrooms, and voters have no say in how these charter schools spend taxpayer funding,” said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association.
          
   Chief Justice Barbara Madsen   
Supreme Court Rules Washington Charter Schools Are Unconstitutional

Washington Education Association news release, 9/4/15
Contact: Rich Wood, 253-376-1007

Supreme Court rules Washington charter schools are unconstitutional

Public school educators are applauding the Washington Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision ruling that the state’s charter school law is unconstitutional because charters siphon money from public schools and are not accountable to local voters.

The court ruled Washington’s entire charter school law is unconstitutional.

“The Supreme Court has affirmed what we’ve said all along – charter schools steal money from our existing classrooms, and voters have no say in how these charter schools spend taxpayer funding,” said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association.

Along with El Centro de la Raza, the Washington Association of School Administrators and the League of Women Voters, WEA is part of the coalition that challenged the charter school law.

The court ruled that charter schools do not meet the definition of “common schools” under the constitution because they are not subject to local voter control, and therefore the state cannot spend common school funding on charter schools.

“Under the Act, charter schools are devoid of local control from their inception to their daily operation,” the court wrote.

Mead said the court ruling is another reminder of the state Legislature’s failure to fully fund basic education as required by the state Constitution. The Supreme Court is currently fining the Legislature $100,000 a day for failing to develop a plan for fully funding K-12 education as required by the court’s McCleary decision.

“Instead of diverting taxpayer dollars to unaccountable charter schools, it’s time for the Legislature to fully fund K-12 public schools so that all of Washington’s children get the quality education the Constitution guarantees them,” Mead said.

Washington state Supreme Court rules that charter schools are unconstitutional
LINK

SEATTLE — After nearly a year of deliberation, Washington state's Supreme Court ruled 6-3 late Friday afternoon that charter schools are unconstitutional.

The ruling overturns the law voters narrowly approved in 2012 allowing publicly funded, but privately operated, schools.

Eight new charter schools are opening in Washington this fall in addition to one that opened in Seattle last year.

It was not immediately known what would happen with charter schools that have already enrolled students.

The parties will have 20 days to ask the court for reconsideration before the ruling becomes final.

Chief Justice Barbara Madsen wrote that charter schools aren't "common schools" because they're governed by appointed rather than elected boards.

Therefore "money that is dedicated to common schools is unconstitutionally diverted to charter schools," Madsen wrote.

The ruling is a victory for the coalition that filed the suit in July 2013, asking a judge to declare the law unconstitutional for "improperly diverting public-school funds to private organizations that are not subject to local voter control."

The Washington Education Association was joined by the League of Women Voters of Washington, El Centro de la Raza, the Washington Association of School Administrators and several individual plaintiffs.

"The Supreme Court has affirmed what we've said all along — charter schools steal money from our existing classrooms, and voters have no say in how these charter schools spend taxpayer funding," said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association said in a prepared statement.

Immediate reaction from the state attorney general's office and the state commission that authorizes charter schools was not available.

David Postman, communications director for Gov. Jay Inslee, said the governor's office is reviewing the court's decision and will consult with the attorney general's office.

"But until we have a thorough analysis we can't say what that means for schools operating today," Postman said. "The Supreme Court has remanded the case for 'an appropriate order' and we will have to see what the lower court fashions to comply with the Supreme Court's opinion."

Tom Franta, leader of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, said he was waiting to hear back from the nonprofit's attorney to find out what happens next.

"We haven't had a chance to debrief the opinion with attorneys, with what does happen next with the schools that are open," he said. There are 1,200 children enrolled in eight charter schools, and all but one — First Place in Seattle — has already opened for the school year, he said.

GOP state Rep. Chad Magendanz, ranking member on the House Education Committee, said he was stunned by the decision.

"I'm shocked, I'm worried about the political aspects about this," said Magendanz. The court is becoming too much of "a political animal," said Magendanz, a supporter of charter schools as a way to promote competition and innovation.

Under the 2012 law, up to 40 new charter schools could have opened in Washington over a five-year period.


(Times staff reporter Joseph O'Sullivan contributed to this report.)

 
© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation