Sticks nix charters

Rural voters rejected Washington state’s charter school initiative by large margins, writes Jim Miller. He has ideas on how charter advocates could appeal to voters in rural areas.

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  1. superdestroyer says:

    Another problem for just not rural but those in the exurbs is that the charter nearest your homes may be full but the one with the open seasts is miles away. In addition, the one nearest your home may be the vo-tech charter while the science and technology or the humanities school may be half way around the metro area. People do not like commuting for hours and they will definitely not want it for there kids.

    Also, how would charters work in states like Texas where school district are independent governmnets. Many of the suburbs could not support more than one or two high schools. It creates a culture of winners and losers.

  2. Plus, who would want to set up a charter school in a rural community? If I was going to invest in a venture to compete with the public and private schools, I’d want a big community from which to attract students. Unless a good number of students enroll, charter schools are bound to fail. And it’s a hard sell to compete with rural schools that are often of larger importance to the community than they are for urban and even suburban areas.

  3. Actually, there are rural areas choosing to go to charter schools. We have a couple examples here in Oregon (most recently in Paisley) of a rural community facing the loss of its school choosing to gamble that it could make a charter school viable. The advocates hope it works…but even if it doesn’t, it buys them more time with a local school.

  4. Mike in Texas says:

    Just how was the term “rural” defined? I can’t seem to find it in the author’s article.

  5. many reasons to examine charters beyond boutique theme schools and failing systems. A valid question is whether smaller communities feel that they can tackle the reform issues head-on (or feel that they need to)

    clearly the intittives backers failed if they didn’t communicate “you’re not forced into charters if things are working or improving”

  6. IMPORTANT! looking at the underlying data,

    *no* county voted more than 44% in favor of ref 55
    so it was not a case of rural rejection: everyone rejected it.

    Nonetheless, when one falls 200,000 votes behind in the five most populated counties (Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane) it hard to to win no matter what happens in the rural counties suchas Garfield with only 1000 total voters. And I don’t even play Karl Rove on TV

  7. mike from oregon says:

    As a member of the state just to the south of Washington, I’d be interested to see how the vote broke down county by county. My guess is that once again, the liberals used their huge base in the cities to push out the wants and needs of those in the rural areas. I’m not sure how it works in Washington, but in Oregon we have three fair sized liberal cities whose votes almost always overcome what folks in the rural areas want. Kind of like the map (that I think most people are now familiar with) which shows how the counties in America voted. Even in the ‘blue states’, the majority of the counties in those states voted for Bush.