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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

WA charters face new challenge in 2017

2017 will be a critical year for Washington state charter schools, which face the second year of a constitutional battle over school choice, reports Kate Stringer in The 74.

Voters approved charters in 2012, but the state’s first nine schools were ruled illegal by the Washington Supreme Court in 2015, “saved by state lawmakers in 2016 and now jeopardized again by a second lawsuit.”

“What we are after is the public oversight of the money being used for educational purposes,” said Ann Murphy, president of the League of Women Voters of Washington, one of the groups that successfully challenged the schools the first time and is making many of the same arguments again about how charters are run. Parent Shirline Wilson, whose son Miles attends Rainier Prep in Seattle, calls the latest litigation “nothing more than a threat and a political ploy” obscuring the real issue: her right to choose the best school for her son. “Shouldn’t I as a private citizen be able to say, ‘Enough, I’m done. I need to find something more and something better, and my child is worth it’?” she said.

A ruling is expected in late 2017 or early 2018.

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