Suit over charter school law

SEATTLE — A coalition of parents, educators and community groups filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court on Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of Washington’s new charter schools law.

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 in Local News

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

After work to address issues, Lynnwood gets clean audit

The city has benefited from increased revenues from sales tax.

Bolshevik replaces BS in Eyman’s voters pamphlet statement

The initiative promoter also lost a bid to include a hyperlink to online coverage of the battle.

Man with shotgun confronts man on toilet about missing phone

Police say the victim was doing his business when the suspect barged in and threatened him.

Detectives seek suspect in woman’s homicide

Alisha Michelle Canales-McGuire was shot to death Wednesday at a home south of Paine Field.

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Most Read