Save Washington’s Charter Schools: The Charter Community Speaks Up

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On Friday, September 4, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled the public funding of charter schools unconstitutional. Because this ruling would eliminate their public funding, the future of the state’s nine charter schools—along with the students that attend them—is in jeopardy. We hope to shed light on the experiences of the families affected by the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools stands with Washington families in hopes of continuing their choice of public education.

The Washington Supreme Court ruling presented many concerns for charter school advocates. Because the ruling was supported by the classification of “common schools” as outlined in the state’s Constitution, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by legal jargon. However, as the legal ramifications of the ruling are figured out, it is important to remember the personal impact that charter school families and supporters have experienced. Read the statements below by those who have shared their perspectives to increase understanding of the ruling’s impact on the lives of Washington’s charter school families.


"What we know is that a one-size-fits-all model does not work for all kids… If the state closes down charter schools, it will disproportionately affect families who turned to charters because their child wasn’t receiving the right kind of support to succeed.”

--Tom Franta, Washington State Charter Schools Association


“It’s also a direct blow to our country’s founding principle of justice and liberty for all. We can’t just sit idly by and watch this attack against our most vulnerable and underserved populations. The children who are bearing the brunt of this aren’t from wealthy neighborhoods. No, these kids are primarily children of color, who live in our state’s most impoverished communities.”

--Rep. Eric Pettigrew, Washington 37th District


“We always figure out a way to overcome, because you are about to see why we have to—our students. Someone has to do this for these kids who are here today, and for those kids who want to be here in the future.”

--Diane Tavenner, Founder and CEO of Summit Public Schools


“The Supreme Court ruling, in my opinion, is trying to silence the voices of brave pioneers in education…”

--Erica Fox, Spokane International Academy parent


“My name is Kai. I am a student at Destiny Charter School… Please help me, my family, my teachers and our entire school community by supporting charter schools in Washington… Your support means a lot!”

--Kai Baker, student at Green Dot Destiny Charter School, in a letter to Washington Gov. Inslee


“I’m not going to keep quiet. I’m going to keep hoping they come up with a solution so my child and so many other children have choice.”

--Deanne Hilburn, Excel Public Charter School parent


“I just want to have a say in where my child gets an education and where our hard-earned tax dollars are going.”

--Jessica Garcia, Green Dot Destiny Charter School parent


“Our taxes should follow our children. If our child is in a public charter school, then that’s where our tax dollars should go.”

--Ethan Churchill, charter school parent


“In Washington state, the students who attend the school are the real losers. Adults can find new jobs. Students whose parents cannot afford private school or transportation out of district (where they cannot get public monies for it) will send their kids to the schools they were unfit for in the first place.”

--Samuel Friedman, journalist


“The funding for charter schools is not the problem.  It is the mindset that people have about how change is something to fear.  We as a community need to realize that students need more options than just traditional public schools.  Please fight to keep our charter schools open.”

--Angela Estandian, charter school student

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