I am astounded tonight.
The Washington State House just voted to save a handful of charter schools with 800-900 students state wide, and use public dollars from the lottery fund originally set up to fund public schools.
The public schools of Washington State serve 1,100,000 children.
An initiative (1351) for lowering class size passed in WA State a few years back. Has the legislature figured out a way to ensure every child in Washington has a decent class size?
Has the Washington State Legislature figured out a way to fully fund public schools so they have the funding to innovate and be creative according to the McCleary Decision?
What many, many people do not understand is that the Charter Schools are an arm of the Common Core Initiative. The word “choice” is used to draw the sheep in… but Common Core will be the standards still. And testing? Um. They will have stricter testing expectations than the public schools. And… interestingly… the same corporate billionaires who are funding common core, are the same exact corporate billionaires who are helping fund the charter school movement. Hmmmm… why would this be?
Common Core > High Stakes Tests > Charter Schools.
What a nice and tidy chain.
One Legislator sent an email showing up in my inbox and espousing, “A Victory for Parents Today!” Of course, they were one of the 58 “yea” votes to save the Charter Schools. (This same legislator is opposed to common core and high stakes tests by the way… I’m scratching my head)
What parents won?
The parents of the Kindergartners in my high poverty public school in Spokane with 25 students in each classroom? Let’s see. I think there are at least five different languages spoken in one kinder class. The social and emotional trauma they have experienced… through the roof.
Did the legislator mean the parents of the children in this class? A class of 25 ELL students? Was this decision a “Victory for Them”?
Currently, our legislature has been found in contempt of court for not adequately funding public schools and are being fined $100,000 a day. To date (March 10, 2016), our legislature owes:
They still have not met the court ruling and their Paramount Duty to fully fund the public schools in Washington State governed by elected school boards.
Yet, they have been working “rigorously” to save the few charter schools this session. Therefore, despite the funding issues in and for public schools and the legislature being found in contempt of court, they snubbed the Supreme Court’s decision and voted to take away money from public schools and give a portion of those dollars to the charter schools.
Bottom line: They just voted for the robbery of money from public schools to fund schools with no public oversight.
Interested in how your legislators voted? E2SSB 6194
Taxation without Representation.
So I called Governor Inslee’s Office: 1 (360) 902-4111
A woman answered.
I asked, “Is this the line I call to leave a direct message for the Governor?”
She said, “Yes.”
I said, “Please pass this complete message onto the Governor. I am an educator in the highest poverty elementary school in Spokane, WA. I am also a mom of a 9 year old. I would like the Governor to know my school is crowded and has kindergartens sitting at 25-26 students from high trauma situations and many are ELL. Our schools need to be fully funded and our class sizes reduced. The voters approved an initiative to lower class size. The voters also approved the full funding of our PUBLIC schools. Please ask Governor Inslee to V E T O the charter bill that passed through the house today. It has been found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Washington State. Our obligation is to the children in the public schools of Washington state FIRST.”
She replied, “I will pass this on to the Governor.”
It is unfair to the 1,100,000 students in schools throughout our state sitting in large class sizes, old technology, and other old equipment… for a self -governing school down the road, with no accountability to an elected school board, to be given all the bells and whistles.
TAKE ACTION AND MAKE A PHONE CALL TO GOVERNOR INSLEE’S OFFICE.
It took me a whole whoppin’ minute.
RAZ ON FIRE