Our family has lived in the same home for 25 years. With our four children we have experienced three elementary schools, two middle schools and three high schools, plus Running Start through Tacoma Community College.
Each school was chosen carefully based on the needs of each child, and we were fortunate. From experience we know that innovative schools and programs have been present in the Tacoma School District for decades.
Transportation was not an issue, so we could choose outside of our neighborhood. Charter schools provided by Initiative 1240 will attract the fortunate: the families who have flexible schedules and can afford the time and resources to transport their students.
I-1240 states that public charter schools free teachers and principals from burdensome regulations that limit other public schools, giving them the flexibility to innovate and make decisions about staffing, curriculum, and learning opportunities to improve student achievement and outcomes
With that in mind, how about a revision to Section 101, n (VIII): Allow public schools to be free from many regulations so that they have more flexibility to set curriculum and budgets, hire and fire teachers and staff, and offer more customized learning experiences for students.
Millions of dollars are being poured into I-1240’s campaign for 40 schools over a five-year period. Where’s the innovative legislation to support change in the other 2,350 schools in the state of Washington?
(Orlando is a former Tacoma School Board member.)