DFER-WA on SB 6194 Becoming Law, Saving Washington’s Public Charter Schools

Blogs, Letters & Testimonials

April 1, 2016



DFER-WA on SB 6194 Becoming Law, Saving Washington’s Public Charter Schools

SEATTLE, WA — Washington State’s landmark public charter legislation will pass into law, despite Governor Jay Inslee’s decision to forgo signing the bill. This is an important moment for Washington’s 1,100 public charter school students, whose educational futures are now back on solid ground following the Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling in 2015.

SB 6194 not only saves Washington’s thriving public charter sector for current students, it also paves the way for the future growth and expansion of this innovative model that a growing number of Washington families are adopting. The law directly addresses the Court’s concerns regarding the funding mechanism for public charter schools, prioritizes accountability measures to help ensure that our schools are serving students well, and, most importantly, opens up more high-quality educational options for students – particularly those in low-income communities and communities of color.

“I could not be prouder to see one of the strongest charter school bills in the country become law in Washington State,” said Lisa Macfarlane, DFER’s Washington State Director. “Following the chaos of the Supreme Court’s ruling last fall, it is a relief to know that all of our state’s public charter school students are able to continue receiving the high-quality public education that they deserve.”

“The real credit goes to all the students, families, educators, and community members who worked tirelessly to ensure that policy makers knew exactly what was at stake with the charter school bill – their access to a high-quality education. Washington’s eight charter schools are all in their first year of operation, and they are primarily serving students who were below grade level in reading and math. Most importantly, early achievement data suggests that these schools have already started to close achievement gaps.”

“I also want to thank Senator Mullet and Senator Hobbs, as well as Representatives Springer, Pettigrew, and Sullivan and all the other Democrats who voted for the charter school bill. Equity and opportunity are core democratic values, and our charter school families are thankful that there were so many legislative champions who fought to keep their schools open.”

“We are disappointed that Governor Inslee has decided not to sign the charter school bill and failed to stand with students and families, the vast majority of whom come from historically underserved communities. SB 6194 will still become law, and DFER joins families and education advocates across the state in celebrating the bright future ahead of Washington’s public charter schools and students.”


Contact: Lisa Macfarlane, lisa@dfer.org