Implementation of Washington’s charter school law advanced another step forward Friday while its opponents were in court insisting the state look backward.
The forward thinkers were filing applications to open charter schools as soon as next September. Initiative 1240, narrowly passed by voters last fall, provides for as many as 40 publicly funded charter schools in which administrators, teachers and parents are allowed more flexibility addressing the education needs of their students.
Washington was late joining the charter school movement. Six thousand schools in 42 states have 2 million students enrolled, with another 1 million on waiting lists. The results are mixed, but they have provided an alternative in underperforming school districts – many that serve poor and minority students.
That definition fits several Spokane schools, and Spokane Public Schools directors and Superintendent Shelley Redinger have aggressively pursued charter schools as one of a number of options for students who are not learning in conventional classrooms.