Backers of Initiative 1240 are now free to print petitions and start collecting signatures for their measure to create a new public charter school system in Washington. Judge Lisa Sutton Friday gave approval to final ballot-title language after a hearing in Thurston County Superior Court on proposals from parties on opposite sides of the issue.
Sutton stuck mostly to the language drafted by the attorney general’s office but made a few changes in response to arguments made at the hearing.
Sutton agreed to add use the term “creation” in the ballot title to convey that the proposal would allow something new. The other key word Sutton changed was in the ballot measure summary – dropping the word “certain” in favor of “qualifying” to describe the organizations authorized to operate public charter schools.
Here is the ballot title as approved, starting with the statement of subject:
Initiative Measure No. 1240 concerns creation of a public charter school system.
Here is the concise description:
This measure would authorize up to forty publicly-funded charter schools open to all students, operated through approved, nonreligious, nonprofit organizations, with government oversight; and modify certain laws applicable to them as public schools.
Lastly, the ballot measure summary limited to 75 words:
This measure would allow a newly-created state commission or approved local school boards to authorize qualifying nonreligious, nonprofit organizations to operate public charter schools, limited to forty schools over five years. Public charter schools would receive standard per-student public school funding and be open to all students without tuition. Public charter schools would be subject to teacher certification requirements, government oversight, and performance reporting requirements, but exempt from certain state laws and school district policies.
Here is an earlier post on the proposal language by the state attorney general’s office and the Washington Education Association.