Walla Walla School Board opposes charter schools

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On Oct, 2 the Board of Directors of the Walla Walla Public Schools -- Anne Golden, Cindy Meyer, Dan Hess, Ruth Ladderud and I -- unanimously passed a resolution opposing Initiative 1240. This initiative would authorize charter schools in our state. Three times voters have rejected charter schools and we believe there are good reasons for the voters to reject them again.

We believe that oversight of schools, which are funded by the public, should occur at the local level through locally elected school boards. I-1240 creates oversight of charter schools through an appointed board, not elected local school boards. Walla Walla citizens and voters should make decisions regarding taxpayer funded schools in Walla Walla.

Further, a Stanford University study showed that charter schools outperform public schools 17 percent of the time and underperform them 37 percent of the time. Charter schools are not a "silver bullet."

Lastly, the McCleary decision (affirmed by the Supreme Court last winter) ruled the state of Washington was not meeting its constitutional mandate to fund a uniform system of public education in our state. The lLgislature is working hard to find ways to meet its constitutional requirement. To siphon state funds towards unproven charter schools in this economic environment makes little sense.

Our Walla Walla Public Schools continue to improve and we are doing our best to be responsive to the needs and concerns of our students and families.

Please join us in our opposition to I-1240.

Max Carrera, president

Walla Walla Public Schools

Board of Directors

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