Washington Senate bill would let charters continue operating

Dive Brief:

  • Turning a previous court ruling on its head, the Washington state Senate has voted to allow charters to continue operating with Senate Bill 6194, which proposes funding them with state lottery money instead of tax revenues that make up the state's general funds.
  • Opponents say that the bill doesn't address their primary concern, which is school oversight and the fact that the state's eight charters have appointed boards that aren't accountable to the public, the News Tribune reports. 
  • Most Democrats opposed the bill, but it still passed with a 27-20 vote. 

Dive Insight:

Washington's charters have had a wild ride over the last year. Following the September court ruling that judged the schools "uncommon" and therefore unable to access any public funding, it was unclear how they would survive. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools previously said that the ruling was unprecedented. Charter opponents applauded, and many watched to see if other states might follow suit. Funding was subsequently cut off in December. This new bill brings a different lens to the issue, likely undoing any hope drummed up by anti-charter advocates. 

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Filed Under: K12 Policy & Regulation