Resolution for Continued Prohibition of Charter Schools in Washington State

Whereas the platform of the Washington State Democrats specifically opposes publicly funded charter schools and vouchers; and

Whereas the voters of Washington State have defeated charter measures three times; and

Whereas peer-reviewed research shows that 83% of charter schools perform no better than public schools, and charter schools more frequently harm their students than help them; and

Whereas charter schools often serve only a select group of students; and

Whereas some charter schools shift public moneys to private for-profit firms; and

Whereas Washington State is experiencing a prolonged fiscal and budgetary crisis; while charter school legislation would require substantial additional revenue; and

Whereas children with special needs are rarely allowed access to charter schools; students who do not meet school performance goals are “counseled out” of charter schools; and charter school populations are more segregated and less diverse than public schools; and

Whereas charter schools receive public funds but receive limited local or state oversight; and

Whereas the financial instability of charter schools causes many of them to fail and close, creating greater instability in a community; and

Whereas charter schools often hire less qualified and inexperienced non-union teachers to control their costs; and

Whereas charter school teachers are required to work longer hours and take on additional responsibilities with the same or less pay than their counterparts in public schools; and

Whereas many charter schools outsource the administrative duties to unknown profit-making entities;

Therefore, be it resolved that we Democrats strongly advocate for continued prohibition of charter schools in Washington State; and

Be it further resolved that the 5th District Democrats (1) rejects the emphasis on charter schools as the vanguard approach for the education of children, instead of focusing attention, funding, and policy advocacy on improving existing public schools and (2) will work through local, state and federal legislative processes to ensure that all public schools are provided the necessary funding and support necessary to educate all students; and

Be it finally resolved that the 5th District Democrats urges our legislators to oppose charter schools and to work to support and adequately fund public schools to educate all children to their highest potential.