Washington D.C. Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, released the following statement urging Washington state lawmakers to recognize the needs and wishes of students, parents, and voters and act now to save the states charter schools:
"Washington's students need charter schools, Washington's parents want charter schools, and Washington's voters approved charter schools. Yet with just two weeks remaining in the legislative session in Olympia, the fate of Washington's charter schools is still up in the air. By killing a proposal to keep charter schools open in accordance with the voters wishes, House Education Committee Democrats again put students on the back burner. But there is still time to act. The state Senate has passed a bipartisan bill that would keep charter schools open and provide adequate funding for communities to create new charter schools to serve more students. The House must follow suit.
"Charter schools serve a disproportionate number of disadvantaged students. As countless parents have attested, the opportunity to attend a charter school has sparked a love of learning in students and helped students to achieve success they never thought possible. Failing to act to save Washington's charter schools would force students back to schools that weren't serving them well and prevent students from taking advantage of life-changing educational opportunities.
"When we know that we can give students access to better schools, it would be a dereliction of duty to refuse to act. Charter school students have been shamefully relegated to the status of political pawns, and it must end. For the sake of Washington's students, lawmakers need to respect and affirm voters wishes and act now to save 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 movement. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.