Charter school law upheld by state Supreme Court!

The Washington State Supreme Court just released a decision upholding the Washington charter school law. 

 This case concerns the latest constitutional challenge to charter schools in our state. In 2015, this court held the charter school system created by Initiative 1240 (1-1240) (Charter School Act or Act) was unconstitutional primarily due to the funding structure. The following year, the legislature adopted a modified version ofthe Charter School Act that attempted to cure its constitutionaldeficiencies.

At the outset, we are aware of the deep-seated conflicting opinions regarding charter schools. While each side of the discussion may have legitimate points of view, it is not the province of this court to express favor or disfavor of the legislature’s policy decision to create charter schools. Rather, our limited role is to determine whether the enacted legislation complies with the requirements of our stateconstitution. We conclude that its only unconstitutional provision is severable, and thus we affirm the trial court in part and hold that the remainder of the Charter School Act is constitutional on its face. (Citations omitted.)

Unlike the court, we happily endorse the legislature’s policy decision to create charter schools and hope that this decision puts an end to the opponents’ penchant for legal challenges to them. 

The sole unconstitutional provision, which the court orders stricken, had to do with collective bargaining. 

The Seattle Times reports,

Washington state’s small collection of charter schools took a big step closer to legal stability Thursday.

In a ruling in El Centro de la Raza v. Washington released Thursday morning, the state Supreme Court ruled that funding charter schools with lottery money does not violate the state constitution.

The lead opinion in the plurality decision was written by Justice Mary Yu. Her opinion was shared by three of the nine justices.

“Charter schools are not rendered unconstitutional just because they do not operate identically to common school,” she wrote.

More from KUOW

A win for the good guys.