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Strike! Challenging Charter Schools and the Privatization Agenda in Washington State


Strike! Challenging Charter Schools and the Privatization Agenda in Washington State

Wayne Au

Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, was a good day for me. Late that afternoon the Washington State Supreme Court issued an earth-shattering ruling for corporate education reformers: By a 6-3 decision, they determined that Washington State’s charter school law was unconstitutional. This felt like a personal victory because I was heavily involved in the fight against charter schools in Washington State.


Take education back from administration.

Remove all "Education curricula".

Hire people who love to think and love children.

Pay them well.

All would be right.


There should be a satirical show on Comedy Central called... "Leave it to ALEC."

With powerful interests reverse-engineering torture into "enhanced interrogation," one hopes that ALEC and friends won't make headway in either changing the language--characterization--of Charter Schools, or by finagling in this manner:

"The Washington Policy Center (whose tagline is “Improving Lives Through Market Solutions”), the CEOs of both the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the Washington State Charter Schools Association, and several politicians have called on the Washington State Legislature to “correct” the law by changing the funding structure so charter schools would receive tax dollars through a specific fund not associated with public schools."

It's gratifying (and suggests that retaining some faith in our legal system is still warranted) that one judge got it so right:

"As Washington State’s Supreme Court has said: If a school is not controlled by a public body, then it should not have access to public funds. The logic is simple and compelling, and opponents of public school privatization in this country need to spread that message far and wide."


My daughter attends a charter school in a rural district where the school board is more interested in sports than education. The school is run by its own board and administration and is not only the best school in the district, its among the best in the state.

It's also a non-profit.

Parent's have a lot of input into how the school is run and the board and administration are very responsive - more so than the District School Board.

So I'd like to say don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Get rid of for-profit charter schools who will squeeze out every dime they can by treating students as expenses and looking for where they can cut corners. But don't get rid of non-profits seeking to improve education and student's lives.