Here’s what voters need to know about I-1240, charter schools | Letter to the Editor
October 29, 2012 · 3:51 PM
• Fifty-one percent of parents or teachers in any school can petition to have their school converted to a charter school.
• Charter schools would be able to employ non-certified teachers of “unusual competence and in exceptional cases” in place of certificated staff.
• All state funds for the students in the charter school would be funneled from the students’ public schools into the charter school — even though the expenses at the students’ home school would remain the same. If a student leaves his home school for a charter school, the heat, maintenance, supplies, library books, etc., will still have to be paid, but no state funds will be received by that school. The same is true for local levy money — students going to charters would take their entire local levy funding with them.
• If a school converts to a charter, the school district would have to turn the school over for full use by the charter, but the district would not be able to charge the charter school any rent.
• Districts would have to pay for any major repairs to a charter school within their district, such as replacing/repairing HVAC systems, roofs and safety upgrades, even though the district is receiving no funds from the charter.
• An appointed board would have the final say about all working conditions for staff in the charter school. The board would not be bound by any state or district policies or rules.
Keep in mind that Washington state is still underfunding education according to the Supreme Court ruling. Charter schools will put an even higher burden on meeting the required funding.
Be an informed voter. Make sure you know what I-1240 would do before you mark your ballot.
S.R. Hargraves, Sammamish