Charter schools may yet receive some state dollars despite court ruling that charter school law is unconstitutional

The Seattle Times reports this morning that the state’s nine charter schools may receive state funding while the court’s decision is under review.

…the state plans to send at least $770,000 to the state’s nine charters early next week, the first in a series of payments they were expecting this school year.

The reason? The justice’s 6-3 decision isn’t final until the court has dealt with requests to reconsider its ruling — and there likely will be at least two of those.

Until then, the state’s education department intends to keep funding the charter schools.

There are a lot of unknowns, including whether any such funding would have to be returned should the appeals fail. The two appeals raise significant issues.

In the state’s motion for reconsideration, [Attorney General Bob] Ferguson has said it will argue that the ruling “unnecessarily calls into question the constitutionality of a wide range of other state educational programs.”

He cited Running Start as an example, a program that allows high-school students to take college classes and receive high-school and college credit for them. He also mentioned skills centers that provide career and technical education to high-school students.

In its motion, the Washington State Charter School Association has said it will argue that the court didn’t mention the fact that the two charters in Spokane were authorized by the school district there, said Tom Franta, the association’s CEO.

Jason Mercier, with Washington Policy Center, notes that appeals have been successful in the past. 

The Charter School Association has received an extension until October 23 for its appeal.