Press

Charter school backers easily refute position by opponents | Yakima Herald | June 2, 2018

Charter school supporters have had to defend themselves in court — again. Back in mid-May, the state Supreme Court heard arguments over a lawsuit that challenges the law that authorizes the schools, which won voter approval in 2012. Frankly, the latest legal arguments against the schools don’t rate a passing grade.

Debate over state charter schools still isn’t over | MyNorthwest | May 27, 2018

It may surprise you to know that the debate over whether or not Washington state charter schools are constitutional still isn’t over. Voters approved an initiative in 2012 that allows up to 40 charter schools in Washington state. The state became the 42nd to allow them. In 2015, the state Supreme Court ruled charter schools were unconstitutional. However, the Legislature came up with a workaround: fund the schools with state lottery revenue instead of from the general fund.

Editorial: End legal fight over charter schools so focus can move to education | The Seattle Times | May 17, 2018

Washington’s public charter schools are flourishing, with 2,400 enrolled and promising early indications of student success. But a shadow remains over these schools. And the Supreme Court should put a stop to it.

State Supreme Court weighs validity of charter school law | Associated Press | May 17, 2018

Hundreds of charter school students rallied at the state Capitol on Thursday as the Washington Supreme Court considered arguments that could threaten to close their classrooms. Jalen Johnson, an 11th-grader at Summit Sierra charter school in Seattle, told the crowd that the commitment of his teachers helped turn him from an average middle-school student who had little thought of attending college to a thriving high-school junior who hopes to study urban planning at the University of California at Berkeley.

Fate of Washington’s 11 charter schools in hands of State Supreme Court | KIRO 7 | May 17, 2018

The Washington State Supreme Court is set once again to decide the fate of charter schools.  Students and supporters of the state’s 11 charter schools packed the chambers on Thursday to hear the arguments.  The lawsuit from La Raza, the Washington Education Association, and others claims charter schools are unconstitutional.

Give charter schools chance to succeed | Walla Walla Union-Bulletin | May 21

[Paywall] The charter school experiment in Washington state — and in Walla Walla — must continue so more students have a chance to find approaches to education that work for them, and the public has an opportunity to properly measure their success.

Charter Schools Round 2: Court questions oversight, teacher pay | The Spokesman-Review | May 17, 2018

Former state Attorney General Rob McKenna said it shouldn’t matter that charter schools aren’t under the control of the locally elected school board. The Legislature has the power to create special types of public schools, like the School for the Blind or the aviation school, that aren’t under local control.

Are Charter Schools Legal in Washington State? As Sector Continues to Grow, Court Will Take Up the Question — Again | The 74 | May 16, 2018

Patrick D’Amelio, CEO of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, said he has “great confidence” that charters will receive an affirmative ruling. “The charter law was set up to close gaps,” D’Amelio told The 74. “The kids we are serving are kids from low-income households, they come to our sector behind academically, and are showing great progress. When I think about what’s at stake, I think about how this is going to impact them.”

Charter school to open in Walla Walla in August | The Union-Bulletin | March 15, 2018

Willow Public School has found a home at last. Since being granted a state charter in 2015, Willow has struggled to find a suitable space to open for business, said Dan Calzaretta, executive director. As of this month, however, the charter school has secured a three-year agreement with Walla Walla Catholic Parishes to lease the space formerly occupied by St. Patrick Grade School, part of St. Patrick Catholic Church on Alder Street.

Charter schools, despite ongoing legal questions, attract the families they hoped to get | The Seattle Times | February 9, 2018

[Charter Public School]’s primary focus from the beginning has been students at risk of falling behind in traditional public schools. And so far, that promise has been kept. Seventy-five percent of charter students in Western Washington are kids of color, 63 percent come from low-income families and 16 percent are learning-disabled.

Seattle should work with, not fight, charter schools | The Seattle Times | January 9, 2018

Instead of fighting the innovative new schools at every turn, Seattle Public Schools should have taken a page from the Spokane School District plan and worked with charter schools to provide quality options for students.

Opposition and legal challenges don’t deter Washington’s new charter-school leader | The Seattle Times | January 5, 2018

After a long career advocating for traditional public education, Patrick D’Amelio recently stepped up to lead the Washington State Charter Schools Association, which aims to spread the word about this locally untested model.

Washington’s Embattled Charter School Law Heads to State Supreme Court Again | EdWeek | December 19, 2017

Washington state was also a late adopter of charter schools and many charter advocates (although certainly not all) see the state’s law as among the most evolved in the country—one that avoids many of the issues that have arisen from too little regulation seen in states that legalized charter schools early on.

State Supreme Court to hear charter-schools case again | The Seattle Times | December 19, 2017

The Supreme Court announced in early December that it will hear the latest legal challenge to charter schools in 2018. The challenge came after a King County Superior Court judge ruled in February that the state’s charter-school law is constitutional.

More charter schools to open in Washington state, encouraging new network | The Seattle Times | July 10, 2017

Currently, the state has eight operating, in Seattle, Spokane, Kent and Tacoma. Two more — Summit Atlas in West Seattle and Green Dot Middle School in South Seattle — are scheduled to open this fall. Another two — including Impact and Willow Public School in Walla Walla — are approved for 2018.

DeVos Visits Washington State, Where the Charter School Sector Has Expanded Even as Lawsuit Threatens to Shut It Down | The 74 | October 12, 2017

“I’m 100 percent opposed to the negative things coming out of the administration, particularly under the leadership of the secretary: The problems with DACA and dealing with immigrant students. The problems with not really understanding and advocating for civil rights protections for students,” Wilson said. “Because of the administration’s pro-charter-for-charter’s-sake agenda, that I think makes it harder for those of us who say, ‘Yes, we believe in high-quality nonprofit charters, and we also believe not all charters are the same.’ So let’s really unpack that and make sure that we are doing the right things for students.”

In Our View: Ruling a Win for Students | The Columbian | March 1, 2017

The latest court ruling regarding charter schools in Washington is a major victory for proponents of the system and should serve as a call for opponents to give up the fight. The focus now must turn toward improving outcomes for students throughout the state rather than continuing a counterproductive legal battle.

Big victory for charter schools and students | The Spokesman-Review | February 26, 2017

Washington state’s charter schools scored a huge victory Feb. 17 when they won the latest round in court. Hopefully, opponents will concede defeat and move on.

Charter schools should be given chance to succeed | Union-Bulletin | February 24, 2017

A King County Superior Court judge ruled the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Washington’s charter-school law, which was revised by the Legislature after previous legal wrangling, didn’t demonstrate that charter schools are unconstitutional. The ruling appears solid. It’s time to give charter schools a chance to soar or flounder. 

Time to move on from charter-schools lawsuit | The Seattle Times | February 22, 2017

NOW that a King County Superior Court judge has ruled that Washington’s charter-schools law is constitutional, the detractors of this promising education approach should stand down.

Charters get well-deserved victory in court ruling | Yakima Herald-Republic | February 21, 2017

Charter school advocates no doubt suffered the jitters in advance of a court ruling on the Friday before the Presidents Day holiday — the timing recalled Labor Day weekend 2015, when the state Supreme Court ruled that the charter schools’ funding mechanism violated the state constitution. But this time, charter schools advocates enjoyed a much happier holiday after a ruling that buttresses a promising educational tool in this state.

Charter Schools Are Legal, Washington State Judge Rules | EdWeek | February 21, 2017

A judge in Washington state has ruled that the state’s charter school law is constitutional, another twist in an ongoing legal battle.

‘A Huge Win’: Washington State Charter School Supporters Celebrate Major Courtroom Victory | The 74 | February 20, 2017

Washington state charter school supporters were ecstatic Friday afternoon after a county Superior Court judge ruled in their favor in the most recent challenge to the schools’ constitutionality.

King County judge says Washington charter school law can stand | The Olympian | February 17, 2017

A King County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Washington state’s newest charter school law — approved by the Legislature last year — does not violate the state constitution. Judge John Chun said the plaintiffs, who included the Washington Education Association (WEA) and El Centro de la Raza, were unable to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the law runs afoul of the constitution.

King County judge says Washington charter school law can stand | The News Tribune | February 17, 2017

A King County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Washington state’s newest charter school law — approved by the Legislature last year — does not violate the state constitution. Judge John Chun said the plaintiffs, who included the Washington Education Association (WEA) and El Centro de la Raza, were unable to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the law runs afoul of the constitution.

National Alliance Applauds Ruling Upholding Constitutionality of Washington State Charter Schools | National Alliance for Public Charter Schools | February 17, 2017

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools today released the following statement regarding the ruling in El Centro de la Raza v. Washington State, which affirms the constitutionality of charter schools in the Evergreen State.

Judge Rules New State Charter School Law Is Constitutional | U.S. News | February 17, 2017

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the state’s charter school law didn’t demonstrate that charter schools are unconstitutional.

OpEd: Charter schools give voice to voiceless |Yakima Herald | January 14, 2017

Each time another election season passes, I am reminded how important every community’s voice is in shaping the policies and opportunities that impact them. Here in Yakima, this is especially true — over half of our residents represent minority populations that have historically been underserved and overlooked. We step to the ballot box every few years to be heard, and to demand what is best for our families and children. But when it comes to charter public schools, entrenched political groups have repeatedly tried to shut our voices out.

Washington state charter school supporters, opponents look ahead to a critical year| The 74 | December 14, 2016

The latest fight over the constitutionality of charter schools in Washington state may not be resolved until 2018, meaning the parents, advocates and educators fighting to save the schools and the teachers union and other groups suing to close them could face a long year of legal wrangling.

War over charter schools should end in Washington | The Olympian | November 25, 2017

Charter public schools are now vital to our education system, serving nearly 1,700 students across the state in historically underserved communities. But the plaintiffs want these public schools to close, with no thought of the families who proudly chose to send their kids to them. This is El Centro’s fatal flaw: its own disregard for Washington voters, parents and students.

Kids Win: Early Victory as Judge Tosses Baseless Claims, Dismisses Lobbying Organizations from Charter School Lawsuit | WA Charters | November 18, 2016

In a decision released earlier today, King County Superior Court Judge John H. Chun delivered a major blow to the plaintiffs in the latest charter public school lawsuit, recognizing both the state’s motion to dismiss two of plaintiffs’ core arguments from consideration and affirming intervenor claims that several organizational plaintiffs failed to demonstrate standing in their attack on charter school families.

OpEd: A father stands up for his daughter and the rights of charter-school students | The Seattle Times | August 30, 2016

When the charter public-school initiative went on the ballot in 2012, I voted a resounding “yes,” as did the majority of my fellow residents in Yakima, a city almost half comprised of Latino residents.

Families to defend charter schools in court | KIRO 7 | August 23, 2016

Just 13 years old, Benjamin Bradley may look too young to fly — but he wants to be a commercial airline pilot. He’s already earning his wings at Excel Charter School. Today, his grandfather gathered with other charter school supporters at the King County Courthouse. “He’s focused on what he needs to do in school, but underlying that there, he kind of wonders why are people trying to shut us down,” said Roland Bradley.

Charter school advocates undeterred, will fight second lawsuit | The News Tribune | August 23, 2016

Washington charter school advocates announced Tuesday that they plan to intervene in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that challenges the state’s newest charter school law. A dozen families, including three whose children attend charter schools in Tacoma, are named as interveners in the latest legal motion, which will be filed in King County Superior Court.

Families join legal fight for charter schools | K5 News | August 23, 2016

Washington charter schools unveiled their new weapon in the legal battle to protect their schools. Tuesday, a dozen charter school families filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit accusing the schools of being unconstitutional.

Editorial: Effort to undercut charter schools is unnecessary | Union-Bulletin | August 9, 2016

Four years ago, Washington state voters approved, albeit narrowly, an initiative aimed at allowing a small number of charter schools as part of an experiment to see if the concept would work here. 

Editorial: Charter-schools lawsuit is another unwanted distraction | The Seattle Times | August 5, 2016

Disappointingly, the state teachers union is trying once again to deprive students not well-served by traditional schools the chance to thrive at a public charter school.

Statement: National Alliance Denounces Lawsuit Filed Against Washington State Charter School Students | NACPS | August 4, 2016

“We are profoundly disappointed by the decision to file a misguided lawsuit in an effort to replace the clear will of the voters and a bipartisan majority in the legislature through a flawed, politically motivated agenda. This action is designed to prevent families from exercising their choice and maintain the status quo of an education system that is not working for too many children in the state of Washington.”

Washington charter schools — as expected — are being challenged again in court | Inlander | August 3, 2016

When the state legislature passed a law earlier this year that effectively ensured charter schools could stay open, charter school proponents knew the fight was not over yet. “The reality is your efforts are not finished. We’re going to continue to need your help,” state Sen. Michael Baumgartner said in April.

Lawsuit targets Washington’s new charter schools law | The Spokesman-Review | August 3, 2016

Teachers unions, parents and other groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday over Washington’s new charter school law, a measure that was enacted last spring after the state Supreme Court struck down the old law.

Coalition files new challenge to Washington’s charter-school law | The Seattle Times | August 3, 2016

A new challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s charter-school law was filed in King County Superior Court on Wednesday by a coalition of parents, educators, school administrators and civic groups.

Statement: Lawsuit flies in the face of voters, bipartisan legislative effort to save local public schools | WA Charters | August 3, 2016

El Centro de la Raza, League of Women Voters, unions attempt to close schools serving low-income communities and students of color

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