Parents and educators in Washington State have fought a long battle to keep charter schools out of their state. There have been four referenda; the first three rejected charters. In 2012, however, Bill Gates and a few of his other billionaire friends put together a fund of $15 million, give or take a few million, to promote a new charter vote. In the other side were school boards, PTAs, teachers, the NAACP, and other civic groups defending public education, whose resources are minuscule compared to Gates & friends. The referendum passed, by less than 1%.


Its te opponents sued to block the law, saying that charter schools are not public schools. The Washington state Supreme Court agreed with them.


Undaunted, the monied interests have continued their pressure to get public funding. Leave aside the fact that Gates could support charter schools with his spare change.


Now on the legislature is ready to satisfy Gates and the other entrepreneurs. Most disturbing is to see that Democrats are enabling the diversion of public money from public schools to privately managed charters. Hopefully, the group’s that led the successful lawsuit will go back to court and challenge this trick again.


A reader in Washington state sent this news, with a list of the Democrats who double crossed parents and children to satisfy Bill Gates and friends:



“It is just terrible to see what is happening in Washington state. For starters, the Supreme Court declared I 1240 unconstitutional on September 4. Charter schools had plenty of time to transition students into public schools, but they refused to close their doors.



With the support of the Washington Charter Association and a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for $2.1M- charter schools remained opened- and they did so by having the state’s superintendent of public instruction corrupt Alternative Learning Rules.

In January, Steve and Connie Ballmer contributed $250K to a charter PAC. These dollars are being used to fund TV ads, polls, robo calls etc.



Students were constantly getting bussed to the state’s capital and charter supporters literally camped within the state’s capital. We’ve been told 22 lobbyists filled the halls of the state building.



SB 6194 got passed out of the R. controlled senate. The House had compelling testimony and would not allow the bill out of committee.



Title-only bills got passed out of committee. These bills have NO text and are intended to support charter schools and do an end-run around the state’s constitution.



Larry Springer drafted different legislation, and , less than 24 hours later the bill was on the House floor for a vote. The House holds a slim majority and, with the support of 9 Democrats, SB 6194 got passed out of committee. Here are the turn-coat Dems:


1. Judy Clibborn:



2. Christopher Hurst:



3. Ruth Kagi:



4. Kristine Lytton:



5. Jeff Morris:



6. Eric Pettigrew:

7. David Sawyer:



8. Tana Senn:



9. Larry Springer:



10. Pat Sullivan:



The bill will not satisfy the Supreme Court. Legislators know this and don’t care. Chad Magendanz made a speech and called for 2000 charter school students to protest next year.



I’m confident the charter “fix” will not pass constitutional muster. Here is what Paul Laurence (attorney that argued and won I 1240):



“But attorney Paul Lawrence, who represented those who filed the lawsuit challenging charters, said switching to lottery funds is just an accounting trick.



“That doesn’t strike me as any different from paying it out of the general fund,” Lawrence said. “I don’t really see that that accomplishes a fix.”