Dora Taylor, a parent leader in Seattle, has written a post about how the Gates machine has stepped up to protect the state’s fledgling charter schools that are not currently eligible to receive public funding. The highest state court in Washington state ruled that charter schools are not public schools, and of course the Gates team is working the legislature to do an end run around the court’s decision.


But as Taylor explains, the Gates team has quietly set up a deal where a small rural school district is paid to supervise the charter schools and keep them alive while Gates and company works the legislature.


This is how it went. The Gates Foundation, contacted the Washington Charter Association and had them contact the Mary Walker School District to discuss with the Superintendent, Kevin Jacka, the idea of taking on the charter schools that had opened in the state and placing them under the umbrella of the Alternative Learning Experience program (ALE).


The Mary Walker School District is located in Springdale, Washington, which is a rural community in the northeast corner of Washington State. The district consists of eight traditional and Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) schools.


The plan was to have the Mary Walker School District provide oversight for the charter schools scattered around the state and receive a percentage of the per student state allocation before sending the money onto the charter school therefore providing tax dollars to the charter schools.


According to the contract between the Mary Walker School District and Rainier Prepcharter school, the Mary Walker School District will receive 4% of the per student state allocation of approximately $6,000 per student and the remaining 96% will go to the charter school.


You see, when you are the richest man in the country, you don’t give up. You win. Unless the courts and the legislature intervene to protect public education. If Bill Gates wanted to give the charter students an education (there are fewer than 1,000 of them), he could open private schools for them at less cost than he is spending to lobby the state. But he wants to establish the principal that privately managed schools should get public funding, even though the public has nothing to say about how they are run.