A total of eight charter schools are set to open when school start in September— three in the Seattle area, three in Tacoma and two in Spokane. All eight schools have filled their available seats, usually through lotteries, proving that charter schools are in high demand. The Seattle Times reports,
“Summit Sierra, for example, received 230 applications for its ninth-grade class, though it planned for 105 and eventually admitted 130.”
Parents are choosing to send their children to charter schools for various reasons—not least of which is the promise of improved learning standards. The Seattle Times,
“Natalie Hester Johnson, for example, was fearful that her daughter, Victoria, wouldn’t get the attention she needs in math at a large Seattle high school.
“Although she voted against charter schools in 2012, she said she’s impressed with Summit Sierra, which says it will provide a blend of hands-on projects and computer instruction, and where Victoria will be paired with a faculty mentor to make sure she stays on track with her goals.”
The three Seattle-area charters have drawn most of their students from the school districts where they are located. The student body is diverse and caters to underprivileged children. According to the Seattle Times, 88 percent of students set to attend Rainier Prep (a middle school) are “eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program.” Additionally, “about a third are learning English, and 11 percent qualify for special-education services.”
But, all is not rainbows and butterflies for the future of charter schools. The Washington Education Association (WEA) is still pursuing a lawsuit it launched—along with other plaintiffs—in 2013 challenging the constitutionality of charter schools. The state Supreme Court is still reviewing the lawsuit.
The WEA’s relentless intent to take down charter schools in our state serves as further proof that the union places itself first and foremost. In the end, it’s another case of the WEA looking out for the WEA—certainly not for the interests of children.