A King County Superior Court judge has ruled Washington’s new charter school act is unconstitutional.
Judge Jean Rietschel struck down the core of the Charter School Act by determining that charter schools are not common schools and cannot be funded with state common school funds.
“A charter school cannot be defined as a common school because it is not under the control of the voters of the school district,” Judge Rietschel wrote.
The judge also found that, as a result, charter schools cannot receive restricted common school construction funds from the state.
Attorneys are reviewing the decision, and the case likely will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the League of Women Voters of Washington, a nonpartisan organization that encourages the participation of citizens in government; El Centro de la Raza, a Seattle-based group dedicated to social justice; the Washington Association of School Administrators, an organization of more than 1,600 school administrators; the Washington Education Association, an organization that represents nearly 82,000 public school employees; Wayne Au, Ph.D., an educator and education advocate; Pat Braman, a former Mercer Island High School teacher and current Mercer Island School Board member; and parents with children in public schools in Snohomish and Spokane counties.