State panel to start selecting first charter schools

SEATTLE — Washington’s new Charter School Commission elected a former Seattle School Board president as its chairman.

The group also has started to solidify its plans for hiring a staff and choosing the state’s first charter schools. The group held its second meeting Tuesday in Bellevue.

Steve Sundquist, who served on the Seattle School Board from 2007 to 2011, including one year as president and two years as vice president, said Wednesday that the new charter school law and the State Board of Education have set an ambitious agenda for the group.

The group is tentatively scheduled to start accepting applications for charter schools by Sept. 22. The State Board of Education has proposed a fast turnaround on those applications, calling for decisions by the end of January.

“It’s all fast, very fast,” Sundquist said. His group plans to ask the state board for a little more time, at least for the first year.

Voters in November approved an initiative that would bring charter schools to Washington. The first schools are expected to open in fall 2014.

Two parallel processes are being set up to start up to 40 of the new public schools in five years: the Charter School Commission and local school boards that apply to be authorizers through the State Board of Education.

The State Board of Education is also setting general rules for both groups, including how to make sure the number of schools approved does not exceed the limits set by the new law.

For example, the proposed rules state that if more than the allowed number of schools are authorized, a lottery will be held to determine which schools get to open first.

The Charter School Commission also chose a vice chairman, Larry Wright, managing director of the Bellevue Arts Museum.

The commission is preparing to hire some staff and will post a job description for an executive director within the next few weeks, Sundquist said.

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Camano Island man gets 18 years for role in drug ring

He was convicted of helping lead a drug distribution network in four Washington counties.

Lake Stevens man missing since beginning of January

Jason Michael Knox White hasn’t used his credit card or withdrawn money from his bank since then.

Deal reached on water bill clears way for action on capital budget

A lot of funding will to go toward housing, schools and projects in Snohomish County and statewide.

Stormy weather knocks out power to parts of Everett

About 3,700 PUD customers lost electricity in Snohomish County early Thursday morning.

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Most Read