House Dems Introduce Leg to Keep Public Charter Schools Open

Today, Rep. David Sawyer (D – Lakewood) joined a growing list of Democrats, including Reps. Springer and Pettigrew and Senators Hobbs and Mullet in working to save Washington’s public charter schools by introducing a new bill to keep school doors open and serving diverse communities.

The proposed legislation, House Bill 2824, honors the will of the voters by reinstating the 2012 voter-approved public charter school law, with an updated funding mechanism that addresses the uncertainty facing more than 1,100 Washington students and families, as a result of the recent state supreme court ruling.

House Bill 2824 is similar to Senate Bill 6194 in its commitment to reinstate the voter-approved public charter school law. Introduced by Sens. Steve Litzow (R – Mercer Island), Mark Mullet (D – Issaquah), Joe Fain (R – Auburn), and Steve Hobbs (D – Lake Stevens), Senate Bill 6194 passed in the Senate last week, with bipartisan support, by a 27-20 margin.

In response to the bill put forth by Rep. Sawyer, the Act Now for Washington Students coalition issued the following statement:

“Washington’s public charter schools are a vital part of public education in our state, and are already making a real difference for many families, particularly those from underserved communities and communities of color.

“We thank Rep. Sawyer for his leadership in working to keep these dynamic local schools open. We call on representatives from both sides of the aisle to join them in advancing this important bill so that all Washington families will have the opportunity to choose the public school that best fits the educational needs of their children.   

“Students and families from across the state are standing up for their public schools and we are grateful their voices are being heard. We look forward to ramping up our campaign to save public charter schools as this bill moves towards passage.”