Last week, lawmakers passed a bipartisan bill aimed at salvaging the 2012 charter-school law that the state Supreme Court struck down in September.
If Governor Jay Inslee signs SB 6194, it will, with a few amendments and caveats, essentially reinstate the 2012 law – a thrilling denouement from the point of view of charter school supporters, who’ve been pouring hundreds of hours and millions of dollars into propping up existing charters and lobbying the legislature to override the Court’s ruling, from TV ads sponsored by the Washington Policy Center to busloads of schoolkids and parents consistently filling the hallways, hearing rooms, and front steps of the Capitol Building.
“Obviously we’re not across the finish line yet,” says Washington State Charter Schools Association CEO Thomas Franta. “We’re still waiting on the Governor’s signature.” But, he says, “We feel really good. It was fantastic to sit and watch the House and Senate deliberate on these issues – [on] what I believe was a cordial debate about the merits of charter schools. And those that are on what I believe is the right side of history won out.”