More editorial support for state charter school law. State Supreme Court ruling “great news based on sound reasoning.”

Editorials in The News Tribune and the Olympian address the recent state Supreme Court decision upholding the state’s charter public school law. We cite other commentaries here.

Both recognize the decision allows charter public schools to focus on learning, on providing an alternative path to educational success for students.

The News Tribune editorial notes that opponents remain persistent. 

The court’s recent 6-3 ruling was great news based on sound reasoning, but it doesn’t mean charter school foes will fade away. The coalition largely made up of teachers unions and some civil rights groups has spent decades and millions of dollars trying to halt the proliferation of charters in Washington and elsewhere. They won’t go quietly.

The editorial continues,

[Justice Mary] Yu succinctly gave three reasons why charters comport with state law: They are free and open to all students, they employ certified teachers and they meet public school instruction requirements.

And let’s not forget, they are the will of the people. In 2012, Washington voters approved charter schools on the promise that kids would have a viable, tuition-free alternative to public schools. We have no reason to believe those sentiments have changed.

The editorial points out that the schools are working as intended, citing successful Tacoma examples.

Evidence has yet to surface supporting the fearful scenarios floated by charter school opponents, of faceless corporations silencing local voices and siphoning public money from students who need it.

In fact, a University of Washington study last summer found that the state’s 12 charter schools are serving students with disabilities at a substantially higher rate than the national average.

And concludes,

There’s no sector of society where choice and competition don’t provide an impetus for higher quality. Why should schools be different? Certainly the trifecta of Tacoma charters hasn’t impeded the strides of Tacoma Public Schools, whose graduation rates are on an upward trajectory.

While we understand critics won’t go away, charter schools are settled law, and we champion a system that broadens educational opportunities for all Washington kids.

The Olympian editorial board is a bit more reserved, but wants the charter school “experiment” to continue.

With enough time to show results, we may well see students in our state succeeding in private charter venues after failing in public school venues.

A ruling this month by the state Supreme Court removes a potential obstacle to this happening.

We reject the notion that charter venues are “private.” They are public schools. Words matter. Still, the editorial makes a good point.

But there is a simple reason why charters are worth trying: Some communities need alternatives, and charters have proven successful.

And it is clearly our duty as taxpayers, who pay for the public school system, to make sure all K-12 students finish their schooling able to read, write and function as citizens.

Charter public schools help us meet that obligation. The News Tribune is right. This is now settled law. And the “system that broadens educational opportunities for all Washington kids” is to be celebrated.