In addition to swiping money from our public schools, House Democrats’ have also proposed in their supplemental budget cutting funding for the Washington State Charter School Commission from $1.5 million to $926,000 (a 38% reduction). Where Democrats are aiming their cuts reveals quite a lot about their dislike for public charter schools.
The Washington Policy Center points out that the state appropriation for the Charter Schools Oversight Account would be cut from $737,000 to $100,000. Voters established the Charter Schools Oversight Account when they approved the public charter school law in 2012. It is meant to receive “four percent of charter school funding to pay for central administration” to allow for accountability and oversight.
As a relevant contrast, traditional public schools budget an average of 40% for central administration.
So, why are Democrats attempting to deliver this blow to public charter schools? Via the Washington Policy Center,
“Others say the House Democrats’ budget is a cause for worry, because the budget assumes the passage of other bills, known in the jargon as “Necessary to Implement the Budget,” that indicate what state programs should receive full funding. So the House Democratic budget could have included full funding for the Charter School Commission if the sponsors had assumed passage of SB 6194/HB 2367, the bills to save charter schools. SB 6194 has already passed the state Senate, and it is now being discussed in the House of Representatives.”
The fate of public charter schools in our state rests with the Democrat-controlled state House. This particular move by Democrat leaders does not inspire hope for charter school supporters.