The Renton School Board voted unanimously at their regular meeting on Wednesday night to oppose Initiative 1240, the charter school measure that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
At least nine other Washington school boards have voted to oppose the measure (Read the ballot measure here).
Initiative 1240 would permit the creation and operation of up to 40 privately run, but publicly funded, schools. While charter schools are legal in some other states, Washington state voters have rejected past charter schools measures.
Renton board members passed a resolution opposing the measure for these reasons:
• Has a lack of oversight by locally-elected school officials: public education funding should be overseen by school officials elected in their local communities; and
• Implementation of the Initiative will create additional administrative functions and costs for the State Board of Education, the state’s education office, and local school districts, further draining dollars from already underfunded, existing public schools; and
• Local public education resources would be placed under private management, including charter boards and out-of-state charter management companies, undermining the local public accountability and protection of resources that communities and taxpayers expect and deserve; and
• Allows existing public schools to be “converted” to a charter school by a simple majority vote without professional assessment, analysis or investigation; and
• Privately operated but publicly-funded charter schools will serve only a small part of Washington’s student population, providing no guarantee that students who are struggling will have access to charter schools; and
• Innovative programs and schools—which are inclusive, equitable and accountable—have been created throughout the state in increasing numbers under the currently authorized governance structure of locally elected school district boards of directors.
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