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Friday, September 4, 2015

Washington State rules charter schools Unconstitutional

From, OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Supreme Court has ruled the state's voter-approved charter-school law unconstitutional. In a 6-3 ruling issued late Friday afternoon, the high court said that charter schools do not qualify as common, public schools and cannot receive public funding.

In the lead opinion, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen said the case wasn't about the merits of charter schools, simply whether they were eligible. Citing state Supreme Court precedent from 1909, she said they are not, because they are not under the control of local voters.

A coalition of groups, including the state teachers union, a group of Washington school administrators and the League of Women Voters, sued the state in 2013 to stop the new charter system, adopted by voters in 2012.

Last year, Washington State had one charter school. This year, there will be nine - in Spokane, Tacoma, Kent, Highline and Seattle.

Charter schools here in Florida are not much different. The state forces districts to approve them and then they are run by their own boards with practically zero over site from local districts. And most importantly local voters do not have a chance to vote for them.

Yes Florida is different is some regards than Washington, we aren’t committed to education like they are and Washington isn’t run by a legislature that is beholden because of campaign donations to the charter school industry.

Throw in the facts that over three hundred have taken public money and closed, many of the ones that are doing well have set up in neighborhoods that already have successful public schools siphoning away resources. Most are run by for profit companies and as a group study after study says they under perform when compared to public schools then I ask why do we have them?

It’s time we followed Washington’s lead and said no more.

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