Even though the House and Senate charter school bills both died in committee last week the battle still rages on. This in part due to Rodney Tom, State Senator for Bellevue, who halted the review of all bills brought into the Senate education committee because the charter school bill was not allowed review and also due to the continued push by Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters. All have vested interests is seeing a charter school bill pass in our state this year. Unfortunately their interests have nothing to do with our children.
Several resolutions have been passed by Democratic districts and organizations and to follow is the list that I have so far. If anyone else has additional resolutions that I can post, please send them to me and I will publish them also.
First, the most recent resolution that was passed yesterday evening:
Ingraham High School PTSA Resolution
FULL EDUCATION FUNDING FIRST
Like every other public school in Washington, Ingraham has suffered
from a long pattern of underfunding, resulting in progressively worse
cutbacks in teaching and support staff, increasingly inadequate
instructional materials, and limited student access to sports and
other extracurricular activities. The Ingraham community has done what
it can to fill the gaps but we are not a wealthy school. We cannot
begin to fill these needs, nor should we be expected to. The
Washington Supreme Court recently has ordered the state to meet its
constitutionally mandated paramount duty to fully fund basic
education; it has required that hundreds of millions of additional
dollars per year be added to the education budget.
Ingraham PTSA believes that all efforts of legislators, and all
advocacy by pro-education organizations, must be directed toward
ensuring that the Washington State Legislature complies with the order
to fully fund the state’s public schools. Given the current financial
crisis, time spent on other education issues, especially on a divisive
issue like charter schools, is a distraction which diminishes the
likelihood that full public school funding will be achieved.
Therefore, Ingraham PTSA asks the Washington State Legislature to
concentrate its efforts on resolving the funding crisis and to
terminate consideration of other education-related issues,
particularly those which clearly are divisive and controversial.
Ingraham PTSA also asks Washington State PTA to refrain from any
further participation in the charter school debate.
And this resolution from the Washington State Democrats:
WHEREAS the platform of the Washington State Democrats specifically opposes publicly funded charter schools;
WHEREAS the voters of Washington State have defeated charter school measures three times;
WHEREAS charter school operators have “become increasingly hostile to unions”;
WHEREAS teacher turnover is higher in charter schools than in traditional public schools, and increases administrative and training costs, creates organizational disruption, and makes it difficult to maintain a high level of instructional quality;
WHEREAS peer-reviewed research shows that 83% of charter schools perform no better than public schools;
WHEREAS charter schools overall serve far fewer children with special needs than comparable public schools, and especially children with the most severe disabilities;
WHEREAS charter school populations are more segregated and less diverse than public schools;
WHEREAS charter schools often shift publicly funded district moneys to private interests; and
WHEREAS charter schools represent a privatization of public schools;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Washington State Democrats urge the Washington State Legislature to oppose any charter school bill; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, upon passage, this resolution be communicated to the Washington State Democratic Legislative Caucuses.
Submitted by the 37th Legislative District Democrats to the Washington State
Democratic Central Committee for consideration at its January 28, 2012 meeting in Shelton. (Date Submitted 1/12/2012)
The WSDCC Resolutions Committee “AMENDED THIS RESOLUTION AND
RECOMMENDED A PASS” at its January 28, 2012 meeting in Shelton.
The WSDCC “PASSED” this resolution at its January 28, 2012 meeting in Shelton.
The 36th District which is the district that a key sponsor of the bill represents also submitted a resolution against charter schools as well as the 47th District.
The 34th District passed an anti-charter resolution on February 8, 2012. See the comment below for the details.
The League of Women Voters in Seattle also passed an anti-charter resolution and to follow was testimony provided by the leadership of that organization to the State Legislative Assembly:
Founded by activists who secured voting rights for women, the League of Women Voters has always worked to promote the values and processes of representative government. The League believes in an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive – one that assures opportunities for citizen participation in government decision-making.
Because of these deeply held convictions, League of Women Voters of WA led the opposition of the two charter school initiatives and the referendum in 1996, 2000 and 2004 that were rejected by the voters. And we oppose SB 6202 for the following reasons:
- Private boards selected by non-profit corporations rather than publicly elected by citizens will govern charter schools. Voters will lose their right to elect representatives to oversee the spending of their taxes.
- Charter schools will be exempt from state statutes and rules applicable to school districts and boards, creating a separate and unequal school system even though Article IX of the Washington state Constitution requires a general and uniform system of public schools.
- SB 6202 will create additional administrative functions and costs for the State Board of Education, the Superintendent of Public Instruction and School Districts at a time when further cuts are proposed for K-12, and the Supreme Court has ruled in McCleary v. State that Washington is failing to provide ample funding for education.
- There are many successful innovative and alternative schools as part of the public school system in Washington state. Let’s encourage them and work toward full funding rather than be distracted by charter schools that the voters have already rejected three times.
- Education Week’s Quality Counts report gave Washington an F grade in education spending and ranked the state 42nd in per-pupil spending and 44th in expenditures as a percent of state taxable resources.
- The Washington Supreme Court has stated that a common school is open “to all children . . . free, and subject to, and under the control of, the qualified voters of the school district.” (School Dist. No. 20 v. Bryan, 51 Wash. 498)
Catherine Ahl Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education
Education Chair, LWVWA January 18, 2012
In late January, the University of Washington Alumni Association Multicultural Alumni Partnership (UWAA MAP) took a formal position opposing the passing of legislation which would create public or private charter schools in Washington State. To follow is their resolution:
WHEREAS, Charter schools drain human and financial resources from traditional schools; and
WHEREAS, research does not prove that Charter schools improve academic success for all students; and
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the University of Washington Alumni Association Multicultural Alumni Partnership Board of Directors (UWAA MAP) urge the Legislature to fulfill their paramount duty and fully fund education rather than experimenting with Charter schools to educate students.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the University of Washington Alumni Association Multicultural Alumni Partnership Board of Directors (UWAA MAP) join Seattle Legislative Districts, The NAACP, Educators, Parents and Community members in opposing Charter schools in Washington state.
Myron Apilado, Sharon Mast, Carol Simmons
Board members, Adviser
University of Washington Alumni Association Multicultural Alumni Partnership (UWAA MAP)
The Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle (MDC) passed a resolution opposing Charter Schools in late January.
The people have spoken three times in general statewide votes that we do NOT want charter schools in our state. Just which part of that sentence does Rodney Tom, LEV, SFC or even the WSPTA not understand?