Surprises await if charter school initiative becomes law | LETTER
June 13, 2012 · Updated 3:00 PM
Charter schools have been voted down three times, but a Seattle Times editorial maintained that people should sign a petition for yet another vote and if it does not pass, future votes on this issue should be held for “as long as it takes.”
All the proposals mentioned in the Times for improving education through charter schools could be undertaken within the existing system. The only substantive difference between charter and public schools is that one is private and the other is public.
Public schools already have venues for gathering feedback from the community. Does anyone really think the public would have a better chance of influencing education through a private system?
The powers behind the charter school push say “our schools are broken.” If anything is broken, it is our society. All our institutions are in flux trying to keep up with dramatic social change. Improving education is a legitimate concern, but it also seems to be a preferred target for those who would exploit our societal dilemmas for their own purposes.
Sponsors of the charter school initiative seem almost desperate to transfer public education funds to private “non-profits.” Why did they decide to float this initiative so close to the deadline? What groups are financing this effort and what leads the Times to think that such backing will be available for “as long as it takes.”
Washington State has just been hoodwinked by another coalition of civic-minded opportunists who, after multiple votes, finally managed to get liquor stores privatized and we are already learning about a substantial increase in liquor prices.
It is highly unlikely that this initiative would have passed had voters known the full implications of transferring liquor distribution to the private sector. I can only wonder what surprises await us if the charter school initiative becomes law and “non-profits” are given access to public educational funds.
Marilyn Bentz, Kirkland