The Tacoma School Board voted 5-0 Thursday to oppose Initiative 1240, the charter school measure that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
At least three other Washington school boards oppose the measure, according to anti-initiative campaign People for Our Public Schools.
Tacoma’s board passed a resolution saying I-1240 would “remove or deteriorate local control of public schools” and “draw funding away from an already financially stressed system.”
Charters are publicly funded schools that allow significant decisions to be made at a school level, rather than by a district or state officials.
Shannon Campion, director of Washington Stand for Children, which backs the charter initiative, said many current and former school board members support I-1240.
“It is disappointing to see a school board not support public charter schools as an important option within the public school system, especially when this option is proven to help many students – in particular struggling students – succeed in school,” she said.
But several people told the Tacoma board that charters will not solve public education’s most pressing problems.
“1240 does not address the issues of overcrowding and under-funding,” said Sarah Morken.
Jennifer Boutell, field director for People for Our Public Schools, said that before spending money on charters, the state should “fund proven solutions to real problems.”