National Alliance Applauds Washington State Legislators’ Amicus Brief in Support of State’s Charter Schools
Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance applauds the bipartisan group of ten Washington State legislators who filed an amicus brief yesterday in support of the State of Washington’s and Washington State charter advocates’ motions for reconsideration of the state Supreme Court decision rendering charter schools unconstitutional and ineligible for public schools funds. In support of their filing, the legislators explained that they are “interested in the education of Washington’s children and the authority of the Legislature under the Washington Constitution.”
Specifically, the legislators argue that the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision intrudes upon the legislature’s budgetary responsibility and the legislature’s express determination that no common school funds were used to support public charter schools. Furthermore, they contend that the state Supreme Court’s decision overlooks the legislature’s authority to define, organize, and fund Washington State’s public schools and, similarly, “mis-defines” a common school.
“This amicus brief is further evidence of the broad coalition of support for Washington State charter schools and the serious need for the Washington State Supreme Court to reconsider its earlier decision,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “After examining the motions for reconsideration, the National Alliance hopes the court rules in such a way that preserves this valuable public school option for the nearly 1,300 students currently enrolled in Washington charter schools, and the families wanting to access high-quality schools in the future.”
On September 4, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court rejected the charter school law that was approved by Washington voters. This decision had an immediate effect on Washington communities, threatening to shut down nine public charter schools serving approximately 1,300 students.
The National Alliance is calling on all charter school supporters to go to www.saveWAcharterschools.com to sign the petition to stand with Washington’s charter schools.
About Charter Schools
Charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org