The Politics Blog

State’s new Charter School Commission hires Joshua Halsey as executive director

OlympianSeptember 18, 2013 

Joshua Halsey

COURTESY OF GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Washington’s nine-member Charter School Commission that was created by passage of Initiative 1240 last year has appointed Joshua Halsey to serve as executive director.

The commission is responsible for authorizing charter schools, which under I-1240 allows up to 40 to be created over the next five years at a rate of no more than eight per year. Each approved school can operate under its own charter but is under conditions set by the commission, which will monitor the schools.

I-1240 passed in November by just 41,000 votes or 50.7 percent statewide. The Washington Education Association was among its strongest critics, seeing charters as a dilution of support for regular public schools, but advocates said they are needed to bring innovations to K-12 education.

"The entire Charter School Commission is delighted that Joshua will be leading our team,” Commission chairman Steve Sundquist of Seattle said in a news release. “His unique mix of experience, curiosity, and empathy will serve us well as we work to create the strongest charter school network in the nation. He is keenly interested in helping us find the right balance between greater autonomy and innovation at the school level with strong accountability for improving student achievement."

Halsey’s salary is $100,000.

The commission's news release said Halsey worked at the Puget Sound Educational Services District “where he led the development of the innovative South King County STEM Learning Network. He also has experience in learning and teaching programs research and serving as a chemical dependency counselor.”

The commission is scheduled to meet all day on Oct. 17 in Yakima. Gov. Jay Inslee, Lt. Gov. Brad Owen and House Speaker Frank Chopp each appointed three of the commission’s members.

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