I applaud Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland for breaking ranks with Tacoma School Board for a change and endorsing I-1240, the charter school initiative. Here are a few facts that cause me to agree with Mayor Strickland. There are 50 states in America. Citizens in 41 states have the right to choose the option of sending their kids to a charter school if they wish. Citizens in nine states do not have that option. Washington is one of those states in America where parents do not have that choice. Why? The single biggest reason Washington parents cannot consider sending their kids to a charter school is the teachers union. In 1996, the Washington Educators Association (WEA) was nailed by the Washington Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) with one of the biggest fines the PDC ever handed out due to WEA’s illegal campaign tactics used to defeat the charter school initiative on the ballot that year. In the last 12 months, the press has reported that the WEA President has said that any legislator who voted in support of charter schools would be targeted by the WEA when they run for reelection. Specifically, the WEA president stated that their opponent would receive a $25,000.00 campaign donation from the WEA. I do not necessarily believe that charter schools are a magic silver bullet that will instantly solve everything, up to and including the common cold. However, I do not see why people in Washington should not have the same educational choices that people in 41 states already have. And I am appalled by the corruption in the teachers union. That is why I am going to vote yes on I-1240.