A quick note from the Yakima Herald Editorial Board about the Washington State Supreme Court ruling against the constitutionality of charter schools:

Washington historically has been conflicted about charter schools, which have found favor in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia. Starting in 1996, the state’s voters rejected three charter school ballot measures before approving Initiative 1240 in 2012 with a narrow 50.7 percent yes vote. Initiative supporters no doubt realized this in spelling out a program that is limited in scope and does not disrupt the overall public school system.

Charters aren’t a magic potion that will cure all what ails our schools, and poorly run charters have exacerbated problems in other states. But this state’s limited program and strong oversight, as spelled out in I-1240, showed promise in finding creative ways to teach our students better.

Amid all the discussion about legal precedents and funding sources, it should ultimately be about the 1,200 students now enrolled in them. For the students’ sake — and for potential students who in the future may find charters a better fit for how they learn — the Legislature now needs to figure out how to make the fledgling system work.

Read the full editorial here.

Chris Stewart is the Chief Executive Officer of Education Post, a media project of the Results in Education Foundation. He is a lifelong activist and 20-year supporter of nonprofit and education-related causes. Stewart has served as the director of outreach and external affairs for Education Post, the executive director of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF), and an elected member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education.


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