Ever since the state Supreme Court made the correct decision last year that charter schools in Washington should be illegal unless given proper public oversight, I have been disappointed by subsequent events. The News Tribune went on the attack immediately, mostly condemning the timing. Other newspapers in the state agreed, for the most part. The monied interests, which back charter schools because they intend to profit from this business, started running advertisements, claiming that students and parents benefited greatly from these charters. Then our legislative branch gave in and allowed charters to operate again this coming school year, without addressing the Supreme Court’s opinion.
Almost all the advertisements and newspaper opinions and the Legislature completely ignored the logic of the court: Public money is not to be used for private enterprise. The Tacoma School District runs the School of the Arts, the Science and Math Institute, and two Montessori elementary schools. These are, in effect, charters under the jurisdiction of a school board. They are legitimate. All other charters should be closed unless and until they find support of a public school board.