Resolution from The Nova Project PTSA

(also referred to as Nova High School)

The Nova Project is an alternative public high school in Seattle that is committed to equitable education for all students. Our community believes that fully funded public education is fundamental to the survival of our democracy and collective well-being. We call upon all citizens to demand adequate funding for public education and to reject efforts to privatize public schools.

The Nova Community:

* Supports the state Supreme Court ruling that Washington must comply with its constitutionally mandated, paramount duty to fully fund basic education.

* Respects the fact that the voters of Washington State have defeated charter school measures three times. We do not believe that private foundations should be allowed to push charters into law against the will of the people.

* Supports teachers as professionals, who are fully entitled to representation by their professional associations and unions.

* Requests that legislators focus their efforts on resolving the funding crisis and terminate consideration of pseudo-solutions, such as charter schools and unproven evaluation models, which distract them from their paramount duty.

* Opposes the wasteful administrative costs associated with charter schools, including training, management, and oversight, in addition to the community disruption caused by creating new school assignment issues.

* Believes in pursuing what works, and agrees with educators that charters do not. The Center for Research in Educational Outcomes (CREDO) confirmed that only 17% of the charter school students in the study outperformed their peers, while 46% performed no better and 37% performed worse.

* Supports the resolution opposing charters by the NAACP which includes the following statements:

* WHEREAS, in some cases, charter schools have become a school model that is used to segregate students; and

* WHEREAS, the NAACP recognizes that at best, quality charter schools serve only a small percentage of children of color and disadvantaged students for whom the NAACP advocates relative to said population left behind in failing schools; and

* WHEREAS, the NAACP recognizes the urgent need to provide quality education for all children, not only those fortunate enough to win lotteries to attend existing quality charter schools …

* Believes that schools should be funded and governed by the people. Private boards rather than publicly elected citizens govern charter schools. With charters, voters lose their right to elect representatives to oversee the spending of their education tax dollars.

* Believes that experienced teachers are vital to student success, and is deeply concerned about the high teacher turnover in charter schools which requires constant retraining and leads to the erosion of school communities.

* Strongly opposes the inappropriate use of standardized testing data. We declare that students, teachers, and schools should not be evaluated based on limited and statistically questionable data.

* Believes that membership organizations exist to represent the convictions of their members. Therefore we ask that the Washington State PTSA refrain from any further participation in promoting legislation to include charter schools in Washington State, and instead focus on full funding for K-12 education.

Successful alternative schools such as Nova are already allowed as Alternative Learning Experiences under current state laws. Charter schools are exempt from many state and local rules that govern traditional public schools. Article IX of the Washington state Constitution requires a general and uniform system of public schools. Charters will create a separate and unequal system.

The Nova PTSA joins many other schools, foundations, the League of Women Voters, and the NAACP in opposing the establishment of charter schools in Washington State. The Nova community asks our member organizations and legislators to uphold public education: Full public funding with full public control.