Calling charter schools "public" doesn't make it so. The Supreme Court ruled that we cannot give tax revenues to private persons nor corporations - regardless of merits - without public accountability. It's called a "gift of public funds." It's lending the state's credit. It's unconstitutional.
Rep. Eric Pettigrew's emotional plea for charter schools is, in my personal experience, part of a bigger problem.
While legislatures have neglected their sworn "paramount duty" over the past 40 years, they continually established attractive new programs while allowing the educational foundation to crumble. This is like erecting a shiny new road sign warning about that rickety old bridge ahead, instead of fixing the bridge, then wanting credit for the sign.
The Legislature is being fined $100,000 a day for dereliction of its constitutional duty on behalf of over a million Washington students, yet Pettigrew demands a special session to "reverse this injustice" on behalf of 1300 kids whose parents seek a private school education at public expense. Really?
The only justifiable reason for a special session is to address the continued and arrogant legislative defiance of a court order to fund basic education.
There are and should be many alternative teaching methods within the public schools to meet the unique needs of students. Charter schools, by whatever name, can be a part of that, but only with public accountability and transparency through our elected educational officials.
Meanwhile, Rep. Pettigrew, with all due respect, reassess your priorities and do your sworn job.