After 11 months of deliberation, the Washington Supreme Court “ruled 6-3 late Friday afternoon that charter schools are unconstitutional, creating chaos for hundreds of families whose children have already started classes,” reports the Seattle Times.
In 2012, Washington state voters narrowly approved charters. One school opened in Seattle last year. Eight new charters with an estimated 1,200 students opened in August or are set to open Tuesday.
“It was not immediately known what would happen with the schools that are already running,” reports the Times. King County Superior Court is supposed to issue an “appropriate order.”
“The court had this case in front of them since last October and waiting until students were attending public charter schools to issue their ruling is unconscionable,” said Joshua Halsey, head of the state Charter Schools Commission.
Charter schools aren’t “common schools” because they’re governed by appointed rather than elected boards, wrote Chief Justice Barbara Madsen in the ruling. Therefore, “money that is dedicated to common schools is unconstitutionally diverted to charter schools.”