I was recently reminded of this because I just saw Charter Schools in Washington state have their state funding cut off today. They are scrambling to find alternative sources among private donors…
We should revisit exactly why the Supreme Court in Washington decided Charter Schools do not belong in public education, and must be defunded at once.
Washington’s Supreme Court ruled Charters were unconstitutional because the state’s high court ruled that charter schools do not qualify as “common” schools—basically, public schools—in part because they are not governed by voter-elected school boards, but rather by appointed boards.
Without that designation, charter schools weren’t eligible for the funding they expected to get, and the court reasoned that voters would never have approved the creation of charter schools in a 2012 ballot initiative if there was no money to pay for them…
Let me explain why this is different from hiring a private construction company to build a road. In that case the population tax money goes into a general fund. We elect representatives whose job it is to decide how to spend those public funds. Therefore indirectly due to our hiring of the legislator, we have input on how our money is spent. Which basically is the argument for independence outlined in the Declaration of Independence. We were taxed without representation.
Charters differ because they are funded per student. That means public money follows the student away from public schools to private schools.
This obviously hurts public schools.
If Republicans wanted to start a Corrupt Moral Values Charter School to obfuscate truisms from sheltered public, they would get public funding, they would get approval, they would recruit students from among the sheltered public, and with each student they would receive public funds.
But the taxpayer who pays that money for his own school, has some of that taken away and sent to the private charter school. That money loses their right to impact how it gets spent because a private board then decides how it is allotted. Which is about as un-American as it gets.
Therefore Charter Schools are unconstitutional... as long as they are funded as currently. But if they were funded by a line item in the state’s budget, then like any other government outlay, we would have imput through our elected representative…..