Community Post

Why Initiative 1240 won’t work for Washington State: The abbreviated version

The only part of a charter school that is a public school, according to this initiative, is the use of tax payer funds.


  • Initiative 1240 circumvents our State Constitution because it would set up an alternative state school system not under the supervision or oversight of the Superintendent of Public Instruction or the local school board.
  • The Washington State PTA voted not to support Initiative 1240 because the initiative did not meet the Washington State PTA’s  “criteria for local oversight.”
  • According to the fiscal impact report of Initiative 1240, the projected implementation costs are estimated to be $3,090,700.

In addition to the $3M, “School districts that choose to become authorizers of charter schools will incur costs to solicit and review applications, contract with charter school boards, monitor and oversee their authorized charter schools, and annually report to the Board.”

When our schools desperately need funding, money should not be wasted on an experiment that has failed in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City to name a few examples


  • The next layer of bureaucracy would be the “Charter School Authorizers” who are appointed by the State Board of Education. These “authorizers” would have a six year contract to review and approve applications made to create a charter school.

An authorizer may delegate their responsibilities to a third party, either an employee or a contractor. At that point, an authorizer could be a contractor who benefits from a particular charter franchise being approved. It also removes the process of authorizing charter schools one step further out of the public eye.

For all of the reasons to vote “No” on Initiative 1240, check out the post in full at Seattle Education.

9 thoughts on “Why Initiative 1240 won’t work for Washington State: The abbreviated version

  1. I have had personal experience working with charter schools in California when I worked in a County Office of Ed, whose job it was to audit school district financials. In one, the “director” had stolen the curriculum from Waldorf Schools (who charge a franchise fee), and 75% of the employees had the same last name as the director (nepotism, anyone?) And while the charter schools were not subject to the same rules as public schools (like buildings that followed earthquake safety standards, required credentials for teachers, required liability insurance), they had to have a sponsoring district so the state could funnel the public dollars to them. And when there was a liability claim, guess who got sued? Of course, it was the sponsoring district, which was powerless to implement any procedures to reduce their exposure. Another charter was signing up kids all over the state for “distance learning” (online) classes. But when students failed to perform, they could kick them out so their performance looked better on paper.

    Charter schools are a boondoggle(?) so that private individuals can suck public money from the rest of us. Do not be fooled by empty promises. Please vote “No” on Initiative 1240.

  2. Public funding of education should be targetted to the individual. Identify a reasonable method of identifying the relative funding needed to educate a person and dedicate those funds to a program developed by the individual and family or caretaker.

    Let’s say we currently burn $250K per child and only about 20% actually get anywhere need that value from SPS. Most of the rest of the money just burns regardless of how much our teachers want to care. (Has anybody noticed how much teachers love retirement? The want to care but after 25+ years they are more ready to retire than any other profession I know.)

    So then let’s say that people can use the funds within certain guidlines on the education they want, when they want or need it, when they are able to use it. The make Johnny sit in the seat for 6 hours approach doesn’t work. Let’s let some creative people try different approaches outside the public school system. A few successes would be worth the risk.

    Let’s not be chickens. Give something new a try. Quit letting SPS brainwash and socialogically lobotomize our youth.

  3. We ‘burn’ less than 10% of that figure and it has to include all of the mandated services. Creative approaches can and are being used, transparently and ensuring that the TOTAL child population is served.

  4. Grumpo is right again. Seattle schools expenses average $19,042 per student per year – not including grants. A class with 20 students should thus have $380,000 in support for the year. I bet anyone could do better for that price.

  5. I’m always right Tim. 19,045 X 13 years (K-12) = $247,585 per student (2010 dollars_. So my edeumucated guess was right on the mark, a little low. SPS tries hard to burn all the money available to them and neglect children. It is impossible to comprehend how they could do a worse job with so much cash. I think we would be better off without education than we are with SPS. Have a look around.

  6. NAACP is pro to low standars and burning money. A bleak outlook favors the existance of socialist movements. So – they are for the certain doom expected from SPS.