The Washington State Supreme Court turned down an appeal from its September ruling that charter schools are not public schools and cannot receive public funding. The vote was 5-4.

Only one charter existed before August 2015, when another 8 opened. Advocates for charters said these new schools were already getting “tremendous results,” even though they opened only three months ago.

As is now customary, charters bussed their students to the state Capitol, in hopes of swaying the decision, but they produced only hundreds of students, not the thousands that appear to pressure legislators where charters are well established. No one asked about the legality or propriety of closing the school for a political rally, a practice that public schools are it permitted to do.

Some background: Washington State has conducted four referenda on whether to permit charters. The first three failed. In 2012, Bill Gates and a handful of other billionaires put $10-15 million behind a new charter law, a sum that overwhelmed the law’s opponents. It passed by a margin of less than 1%.

Charter critics hoped the county’s decision would return the legislature’s attention to another Court decision: adequate funding.

“The court’s announcement Thursday should help refocus the Legislature’s attention on boosting funding for K-12 public schools, said Rich Wood, a spokesman for the statewide teacher’s union that challenged the charter law.

In the case known as McCleary, the Supreme Court has held the Legislature in contempt for its failure to come up with a plan to fully fund basic education by 2018.

“Now it’s time for the Legislature to focus on its paramount duty … and fully fund K-12 schools for all of our state’s kids,” said Wood, of the Washington Education Association. “That’s what we expect lawmakers to do when they return in January.”