Everyone from concerned parents to education advocates to a bipartisan group of legislators have called on the state Supreme Court to reverse its decision on charter schools. Now, four former state Attorneys General— Rob McKenna, Christine Gregoire, Ken Eikenberry and Slade Gorton—have filed a brief asking the justice reconsider and reverse their ruling. The Washington Policy Center,
“The new legal brief questions the contorted reasoning the justices used to reach their decision. The court majority said that, since lawmakers pay for public education out of the general budget, any spending devoted to programs not considered a ‘common school’ is unconstitutional. The justices then ruled that public charter schools are not ‘common schools,’ effectively defunding them.
“The former Attorneys General respectfully point out that under this reasoning any non-common school educational program, like Tribal Schools and the Running Start higher-ed program, would also be defunded.”
If justices choose not to reverse their ruling—a reversal would take two justices changing their vote—it would fall upon the state Legislature to save voter-approved charter schools in our state. During the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers could pass an authorizing bill. Jay Inslee, because he bows to the will of the Washington Education Association (WEA) in all things, he does not support charter schools. However, he has indicated that he may allow the bill to become law—presumably because he fears public backlash slightly more than the WEA.
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