Sunday, July 23, 2017 This Week's Paper

Letters to the Editor: Sarah Morken

Dear Editor,

This November, we will be asked to vote on Initiative 1240, which seeks to create an expensive, new system of privately operated, but publicly funded, charter schools in Washington. I say no on I-1240 because it does not address the primary problems faced by our public schools: overcrowded classrooms and underfunding.
Our schools have the fourth-largest class sizes in the nation. Teachers must spend more time on crowd control and less on teaching.
The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that the Legislature is not meeting its constitutional duty to fully fund basic education. Washington is ranked 42nd in the nation in funding for schools. Instead of creating more underfunded schools, lets fully fund existing schools and restore music and art programs to all of them so that all students can achieve.
Instead of resolving these issues, I-1240 would make matters worse by adding a new $3 million bureaucracy to regulate the new schools. This commission would be composed of appointed officials who have demonstrated a pro-charter bias, despite the fact that charters do not have a proven track record. What kind of watchdog group is that!
I agree with the Washington State Parent Teacher Association and say no on I-1240.

Sarah Morken