Charter school decision continues to roil the waters, drawing national attention; has the court overstepped?

Last week’s state Supreme Court ruling outlawing charter schools continues to draw national attention. We’ve written about it this week. Today the Seattle Times has a good roundup of coverage

While pundits near and far offer their views, in Olympia the state Charter School Commission prepares to shut down, as the nine currently operating charter schools plan to make it through the school year. 

The Washington State Charter School Commission agreed in a hastily arranged conference call Wednesday to start closing shop — its first decision since the state Supreme Court declared the state’s charter-school law unconstitutional Friday.

Advocates promise to raise the estimated $14 millionneeded to keep the state’s nine existing charter schools open for the school year without public funding.

Superintendent of Public Instruction wants the legislature to address both the McCleary decision and the charter school ruling. For the latter, this is his suggestion as outlined in an email to legislators:

A simple amendment to make the Superintendent of Public Instruction the elected official responsible for the administration of education, responsible for state level administration of the new Charter Schools would create a structure consistent with the Constitution, and our current system of public school governance.

Noting the court’s increased role in public policy, former Puget Sound Business Journal publisher and business consultant Mike Flynn offers thoughtful perspective on his Flynn’s Harp blog. We’ll not attempt to summarize his views here. They should be read in their entirety. Here’s the lead:

What the Washington State Supreme Court seems to have done, with its ruling last week that charter schools violate the state constitution, is to reinforce its message to the governor and the legislature: “you are not in charge in this state. We are.”

And anyone who agrees with the assessment that the state highest court’s two education-funding cases amount to unsettling steps into the separation-of-powers arena could also agree  that the constitutional question the court is thus raising is one that merits a focused public discussion.

His commentary is a good start on that discussion.