Vote no on charter schools | Letter
November 1, 2012 · 4:28 PM
The Charter School initiative 1240 campaign advertising blitz makes it sound like such a good deal for Washington state students. Open access, limited class sizes, better achievement skills, and all endorsed by Harvard and Duke Universities.
What they don’t mention is that by voting for the charter school initiative, we are creating a private school system within a public school system.
The Lake Washington School District offers something similar to charter schools called “choice” schools. How does your child gain access to these schools? By lottery, so it really isn’t open to all students.
When my daughter applied to the lucky lottery at the International Community School (ICS) six years ago, more than 600 parents applied for lottery and the school had about 60 openings. The same situation existed three years later when we entered my son in the ICS lottery. The fact is charter schools proponents say that charter schools are open to everyone, but the reality is that your odds of getting your child in to a charter school are extremely small.
What we should be asking is if charter schools and LWSD choice school curriculums are in such demand, why doesn’t the school district offer the same curriculum to all students in junior high and high school?
Why are just some LWSD students able to focus on science and technology at the newest LWSD choice school? Wouldn’t all students benefit from this environment?
Don’t create a private school system paid for with public tax dollars by endorsing charter schools, particularly when public schools already have inadequate funding for everything from supplies to transportation.
Patrick Harris, Kirkland