It has been quite a tough year for the Washington State charter school system. Just as the school year began, the Washington State Supreme Court invalidated the most recent public charter school approved by voters, jeopardizing quality education for many young students in the Pacific Northwest.
Of course, the education system across the country is in turmoil and not every state is finding it easy to recover. Fortunately, Washington State has managed to turn things around. With the combined efforts of not only legislators and educators, but the voices and actions of students, parents, families, and advocates too, Senate Bill 6194 will soon become Washington State law.
Washington State Senate Bill 6194 will ensure that charter schools in the Evergreen State can remain open; furthermore, the law will help to encourage more development of these important schools.
This, of course, is a massively important act for the more than 1,100 students who are presently enrolled in one of the eight Washington State public charter schools. The landmark legislation will now provide young students with more choices, spreading better opportunities to more families to address unique student needs across the state.
Washington State Senate Bill 6194 does not only reinstate the public charter school. This bill also raises the accountability standards for these schools which, hopefully, preserves the base principle of charter schools which will now have improved autonomy and more flexibility for the purpose of innovation and better student outcomes.
Perhaps the biggest offering Washington State Senate Bill 6194 gives is to finally broaden the availability of such education opportunities so that every student in the state; and most importantly those students from low-income communities or communities of color, those communities which have been oft overlooked and underserved for several generations.
Ironically, Washington State public charter schools consist mostly of minority and low-income students. This legislation, then, will create one of the strongest and most furtive charter school regulation in the history of the American public education system.