by Neerav Kingsland
The Washington state Supreme Court just ruled that charter schools, as they are currently funded in the state, are unconstitutional.
I know nothing about Washington’s constitution so will not offer any thoughts on the ruling.
The above screenshot is from the website of the Washington Education Association, which is the local NEA affiliate. The press release includes the following:
“The Supreme Court has affirmed what we’ve said all along – charter schools steal money from our existing classrooms, and voters have no say in how these charter schools spend taxpayer funding,” said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association.
Recently, Rachael Cohen wrote a piece in The American Prospect entitled “When Charters Go Union.” From the article:
Secky Fascione, NEA’s director of organizing, says that as more charter teachers began approaching her union, the NEA started to see them as educators who should be treated no differently from anyone else.
So do charter schools steal money from public schools or do they consist of educators who should be treated no differently from anyone else?
I believe that charter school teachers should have the right to organize.
But if I were a charter school teacher, I would not affiliate with any union whose leaders publicly state that charter schools steal money from public schools. Nor would I affiliate with any union whose local sites sue to prevent charter schools from existing.
Given my beliefs on education policy, I found this labor day weekend to be a disappointing one for the modern education labor movement.
Charter school teachers would do well to remember, that on this labor day at least, the leading national teacher union celebrated the abolition of charter schools in the state of Washington.
Neerav Kingsland is the Former CEO of New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), where he managed the organization toward achieving its goals in the areas of citywide strategic leadership, school development, and human capital. Throughout his tenure Neerav helped manage several of NSNO’s more complex projects, including: launching and supporting charter schools; managing partnerships with national human capital providers such as The New Teacher Project, New Leaders for New Schools, and Teach For America; and supporting both the state and the district in major policy initiatives, including Race to the Top and School Improvement Grants.