The Washington State legislature is bending itself into pretzels to protect the 1,000 students who attend privately managed charter schools. Meanwhile, the legislature has failed to attend to the court-mandated full funding of the public schools attended by more than 1 million students.

 

Why do 1,000 students matter more than 1 million students? What kind of future will Washington State have if it protects 1,000 students and ignores the needs of 1 million students? Which billionaire or billionaires hired the 22 lobbyists who worked the Democrats who control the House in the legislature?

 

Representative Mike Sells of Washington State responded to this post about the Democrats who betrayed public schools; he describes what has happened in the state legislature in the following comment. For supporting the 1 million students in Washington State who attend public schools, I add Mike Sells to this blog’s honor roll:

 

 

What is not mentioned here, is the proponents literally disappearing when it comes to full funding for the public schools. Despite their protestation during the regular session that they believed that the funding should take place, they are nowhere to be found or even commenting much on blogs other than bragging about their coup. The 22 highly paid lobbyists brought in cleared the halls the day after the vote and are nowhere to be seen on the funding of public schools issue.

 

The bragging by proponents of spending on two six figure ad buys has not translated over to helping the public schools. You know big money was being spent when Strategies 360 lobbyists were outside the door plunking for a vote along with the usual ‘astroturf’ groups.

 

A number of us raised amendments on the charter school bill that were turned down. Rep. Drew Hansen suggested temporary funding for the current 8 [charters] until we could figure out the funding issues. That was a no. I proposed that charter schools use the same Teacher/Principal Evaluation Programs that we passed in 2010 for the public schools, if we believed in the importance of teacher quality. (You can find roll calls on many of these amendments) That was a no. Suggestions to make the governance more transparent and open were also turned down, which I believe will only add to the unconstitutionality of the new bill.

 

Only those that had pre-acceptance by charter school proponents seemed to make it through out of the 27 amendments on the House floor. Even proposing that charter school board members file public disclosure forms like other appointed public officials do was at first opposed on the House floor, but actually made it through, when opponents realized that appointed Board members in this state do file them already in other areas. We are now in special session with the supplemental budget, and it has been complicated by the millions slated for charter schools. No more funding is pointed toward settling the court ordered funding for the public schools, and we are facing possible cuts due to a so-called levy cliff.

 
Rep. Mike Sells, 38th Legislative District