Letters to the Editor

Vote “no” on charter schools initiative

Public schools are failing, however charter schools offer no solution to restore the academic foundations, but rather lock in the failures. This is done by removing the elected boards, replacing them with appointees. Our Washington Constitution provides for a recall of elected school officials, but not appointees.

Initiative 1240 provides two ways to become a state authorizer of charter schools: (1) by appointment of the governor, speaker of the House, and president of the Senate; (2) by appointment by the state Board of Education.

Appointed authorizers (1) may delegate responsibilities to employees or contractors, (2) must be held free from any liability, and (3) must follow the chartering policies and practices of the principles and standards of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. NACSA is funded by the Gates Foundation and like-minded people.

Read Section 210: Because the appointed state authorizers must follow the mandates of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, the elected officials cannot appoint any person who is unwilling to obey NACSA.  Further, the elected officials can change neither terms of a selected charter school’s contract nor the terms written in I-1240. In this manner, NACSA holds power over the elected officials responsible for appointing state authorizers. Bluntly stated, if I-1240 is passed, NACSA becomes higher than the elected state officials.

I-1240 attempts to deceive voters into believing the use of a petition signed by either a majority of teachers or parents of students in the district is legal to convert an existing public school into a charter school. A petition is not an election held by all voters of the district. It is taxation without representation. Additionally, teachers and parents of school students may not even reside in the district.

A study of charter schools by Stanford University showed 17 percent of charter schools scored higher than traditional schools, but 37 percent scored lower; the remainder scored about the same. Some “model” Knowledge is Power Program, or KIPP, charter schools fall below traditional schools and are not renewed, even though students attend 67 percent longer and receive about double the funding, courtesy additional Gates grants.

Across the nation there are 130 Gulen Muslim schools, taught by Turkish Muslim teachers and funded in part by Gates; 100 Confucius Institute schools, and now GLBT charter schools. How will these students understand our American Republic?

Numerous charter schools are operated by the very people responsible for destroying traditional schools. They now benefit economically from managing charter schools. Vote “no” and work to restore true education in our existing public schools or forever lose that opportunity.

Cris Shardelman


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