The charter school movement has been expelled from Washington state’s public education system, with a Supreme Court ruling late Friday that the privately run schools are not public schools under the state’s constitution. Meanwhile, the quick fix for that sizable hurdle sought by the state’s charter school proponents—a special legislative session—does not appear likely because Washington’s public education sector is embroiled in more controversial and larger battles.
As public schools open across Washington this week, teachers in the largest school district, Seattle, might strike for the first time in 30 years because of an unsettled contract. Other districts across Washington have been striking and settling recently. Also, since mid-August, Washington’s legislature has been fined $100,000 a day by the state Supreme Court for not producing a new school-funding plan. It had been held in contempt of court for missing prior deadlines.