Jay Inslee is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the prospect of reinstating public charter schools after the lefty state Supreme Court ruled them unconstitutional. You see, Washingtonians support public charter schools – after all, voters approved them via an initiative in 2012.
But, the Washington Education Association (WEA) is vehemently against them, ruthlessly attacking charter schools from the beginning. And, as we all know, Inslee heavily depends on the WEA’s financial support for campaign purposes – to the tune of $1 million dollars in 2012.
Our green governor has managed to incite the ire of big labor in the past, so he may be hesitant to do it again. Via the Seattle PI,
“Boeing Machinists are still mad at Inslee for endorsing a contract with concessions, and Longshore union members were not happy when he joined opposition to basing the Shell Arctic drilling fleet in Seattle.
“The governor dare not anger the Washington Education Association or reform-resistant Seattle liberals, but risks being on the unpopular side of a high-profile issue.”
Of course, there is a right thing to do and a wrong thing to do. Unfortunately, Inslee has not mustered the political courage to publically support ensuring that underprivileged children receive the best education available via public charter schools, if that is their choice.
Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant, Inslee’s Republican opponent, has had no such qualms. Bryant is a supporter of charter schools. He recently criticized Inslee for his apparent willingness to “close schools that are meeting education needs of the most disadvantaged in our midst.”
So, which will it be for Inslee – getting it right, or getting big campaign money?