The complaint filed Wednesday argues the new law violates the state Constitution by diverting public school dollars to private organizations that are not subject to voter control. And it contends the charter schools law gets in the way of the state's constitutional obligation to pay for public schools.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the state teachers union, a group that represents Washington school administrators, the League of Women Voters, El Centro de la Raza and several parents, children and school advocates.
They are asking the court to prevent further implementation of the new law passed in November and to declare it unconstitutional.
The group had previously filed a complaint with the Washington attorney general in February asking him to investigate seven constitutional issues with the new law.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson replied that he would follow the voters.
"We all share the desire to provide the highest quality education for our children. As the state's attorney, it's my responsibility to defend the will of the voters and I will be directing my legal team to do so in this case," Ferguson said at that time.
One of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Wednesday called the charter school law a threat to the state's public school system.
"Not only does it divert already deficient state funds from public schools to private organizations, it also exempts those private organizations from many of the standards that are in place to ensure that all children receive an adequate education," said Wayne Au, an educator and education advocate, in a statement.
Among the issues raised in the lawsuit is that it violates the "general and uniform" provision of the Constitution because charter schools would not be subject to all the laws and regulations other public schools have to follow.
The complaint also has a problem with the superintendent of public instruction not supervising charter schools because his job is outlined in the state Constitution.
It also says the new law violates the Constitution because of the way local voter-approved school levy dollars can be transferred to charter schools in certain circumstances.
More Northwest Headlines
Seattle high school football player dies after game injury 2:17 p.m. Collision closes I-5 north near Kent 3:01 p.m. Student injured in Seattle bus crash sues duck boat operator 2:45 p.m. Oregon community college evacuated because of bomb threat 2:44 p.m. Some students, staff return to Oregon campus after shooting 2:22 p.m. UW law student sues CIA over data on Salvadoran Army officer 1:38 p.m. Northwest earthquake risk, election dissected at New Yorker festival 12:47 p.m. Audit: State overpaid private contractor to fight 2014 fire 12:44 p.m.
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.