WA Charters Newsletter

Tuesday Morning, November 3, 2004

R-55 Is Losing, But Hope Is Still Alive!

Dear Friends,

With more than half the votes counted, it appears unlikely that Washington's voters will allow the modest charter school bill passed by the Legislature in March to take effect.

As of early this morning, R-55 was supported by 42% and opposed by 58%.

Another ballot measure, Initiative 884, that would have increased school spending by $1 billion/year (about $750/student/year), was also losing, by an even wider margin:  39% to 61%.

For the latest election updates for R-55 and I-884, go to: http://vote.wa.gov/general/measures.aspx

Because of the limited overlap between supporters of I-884 and R-55, it is clear that a STRONG MAJORITY OF VOTERS STATEWIDE AGREE THAT THE CURRENT PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM IS NOT SERVING CHILDREN WELL.  However, in yesterday's election, this strong majority of voters couldn't agree on the best solution.  As a result, both proposed solutions (more spending and more choices) appear to have fallen short of the majority each needed.

This underlying (but divided) majority is the reason why HOPE IS STILL ALIVE for charter school supporters in WA.

Proponents of increased school spending will be back in the Legislature in January AND SO WILL PROPONENTS OF CHARTER SCHOOLS.  Working together, we should be able to find a compromise that both R-55 and I-884 advocates can support; a compromise that will gain the support of a legislative majority, and if necessary, a majority of voters in a future referendum.

Crafting such a compromise will be aided by the re-election of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson.  Bergeson supported both R-55 and I-884 and was re-elected last night by a vote of 56% to 44%.

For the latest on the SPI race (and the Governor's race, which is too close to call), go to: http://vote.wa.gov/general/statewide.aspx

An article about the election from today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer is below, FYI.

THANK YOU for everything you've done to share the benefits of charter schools with your family, friends, and neighbors.  Some day soon, Washington will become the 41st state to authorize charter public schools and bring the CHOICE of charters to the children, families, and educators of our state.


Jim Spady, President & Executive Director
Washington Charter School Resource Center (WCSRC)
4426 - 2nd Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98105-6191
Jim's e-mail address: JimSpady@WAcharterschools.org
Web page: www.WAcharterschools.org

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