Demonstrating that opposition to the State Supreme Court’s recent decision declaring charter schools unconstitutional, former Democrat Governor and Attorney General Christine Gregoire came out swinging against the court’s ruling. Gregoire said the following on KING 5 News,
“I think the minority opinion in that case is spot-on. But I’ve got to tell you, even more surprising to me than the outcome of the case is the timing of it. The case had sat before the court for some time, and then it issues its opinion on the eve of when these students are going to go to school, when these parents are expecting their students to go to school. We have grown in terms of the number of charter schools. The court just has to be aware of the implications of a decision like this and what it means to the children and the families when they have their children all scheduled to go to school and then are put on a moment’s notice that ‘your kid has no place to go.’ Not right, not fair.”
The ruling against charter schools is not the only one that Gregoire thinks the court went the wrong way. She went on to question the Supreme’s McCleary-driven decision to issue a contempt order against the state Legislature and fine taxpayers $100,000 per day. Gregoire said,
“So we’ve got a long way to go to fully fund education – as defined by the legislature by the way in a bill I signed as governor. They made good progress this last legislative session. I want to give them credit. But you know, I find it unprecedented that they’ve held the legislature in contempt when the deadline has not yet hit. I mean, we are a ways out from the deadline. The legislature needs to use its process to get the job done, so I’m leaning on the legislature. The court needs to understand the separation of the branches of government and to understand that to hold them in contempt, while they still haven’t met the deadline, is unprecedented in the country.”
Gregoire is not the only Democrat official publically questioning the court’s charter school ruling. Democrat state Representative Eric Pettigrew wrote an op-ed in the Olympian lambasting the court’s decision. He wrote,
Across our state and all over the country, students of color are not making it in conventional public schools. Black and Latino students make up the largest number of dropouts, face harsher discipline, suffer from language barriers, and deal with the ever-present achievement gap. In my district, we have children of color struggling with these same issues, and more…
It incenses me that for the sake of some traditional principle, the court, the union and other traditional education organizations chose to take away what might have been these kids’ only shot.
As the only African American legislator in the state, it’s disheartening to be leading this battle cry that everyone in the community wanted to be part of, and then when the rubber hits the road, “tradition” steps in. Well guess what? Traditional methods aren’t working for our children.
Pettigrew wrapped up his op-ed by asking Jay Inslee and his Democrat colleagues in the state Legislature to stand with him. Specifically, Pettigrew asked Inslee to “call a special session to reverse this injustice and keep our schools open.”
Unfortunately, Gregoire and Pettigrew’s criticism of the court’s ruling and their calls for any action are not being championed by fellow Democrats. Inslee continues to ignore the issue, refusing to call a special session that might bother his $1 million dollar donors at the WEA. As for Democrat legislators, they appear to be either too busy praising the court or too busy avoiding the issue in an attempt to appease the WEA.