Thanks to John for sharing a comment on my last post about WEA's possible lawsuit to stop charter school implementation in the state.
I 100% support the challenge. The intent of charter schools is to provide
another option for students. I do not take issue with that ideal. In fact,
districts all around the state have already begun implementing different
academies within the district to offer an alternate education for students who
need them. The key to this concept is the work is being done WITHIN the district
and therefore is under regulation and evaluation by the local elected school
board and elected officials at OSPI and the legislature.
He does a nice job of sharing his position and the thinking behind it. I don't take exception with his position or with his reasoning. What I do take issue with, however, is the timing. Even though I understand it didn't make sense to file before Initiative 1240 passed, filing now is also questionable to me. I would have preferred that WEA took a more aggressive approach in the no campaign like they did in the governor's race that I blogged about here. The vote was close enough that the Association could have had a greater impact on the outcome.
This situation feels a little like the state filing an appeal to the McCleary funding decision that resulted in the difficult situation legislators face when they begin the session later this month. It simply delayed finding the revenue to meet what the lower court had ruled. Not knowing the basis for the possible charter lawsuit makes it difficult to understand the likelihood for success. If the lawsuit goes through I hope it is because there is a better than average possibility for a favorable ruling. If not, it makes more sense to me to let the charter process move forward. The prospect of charter supporters with the resources behind them and state resources fighting a lawsuit is a waste of time and energy.
It will be interesting to follow this possibility to see what other agencies may join WEA. My sense is that it will not go forward without multiple partners. Whatever coalition may form, I believe it will not be able to match the resources that would be forthcoming for those that support charter implementation. Whatever the outcome, they will not go away especially with the leverage from the successful initiative campaign.