Comment: Students at charter school deserve equitable funding

Legislation would provide funding that charter schools can’t receive from property tax levies.

By John Lovick / For The Herald

In my time as a state trooper, a sheriff, a state representative and a state senator I have always worked to support Washington’s young people.

Whenever I speak with students, I hand them a card with three simple pieces of advice. “Never stop learning,” “never give up,” and “take responsibility for your actions.” As legislators, we must take responsibility as well and support our students. It is time to ensure that the children in our charter public schools are granted the resources they need to succeed. That’s why I’m proud to sponsor Senate Bill 5809.

This legislation would complete the good work my colleagues and I started in 2023 by providing additional state support for students who attend charter public schools. Since charter schools are not eligible to run local property tax levies, they do not have access to the same enrichment funding as traditional public schools. In 2023, the Legislature authorized enrichment dollars for tribal compact schools. Now, we should do the same for charter public schools and ensure all public schools have access to funding that can enrich their educational programs.

Charter public schools reflect the communities they grow from. Every charter public school is the result of a years-long community engagement process to earn authorization to open and operate as a community-designed and community-supported school. They are also granted more flexibility when developing their curricula.

If Washington students find that there are appealing curriculum options available at charter public schools, we need to do our part to ensure that those students succeed. Sixty-two percent of students in charter public schools identify as people of color. With twice as many teachers of color compared to staffs at traditional public schools, students of color see themselves reflected in the charter public school staff, encouraging the bond between students and teachers so essential to educational success.

As we work to invest in our public schools, we must recognize the diverse needs and experiences of Washington families that rely on them to access opportunities for their kids. Washington needs to do its part to give every public school student the resources they need to succeed, including the children in our charter public schools. I know that my colleagues share my desire to support Washington’s students, and I urge them to include the funding proposed in SB 5809 as one part of our approach this year.

Public schools are integral to a thriving, inclusive community. Whenever I talk to the students in my district, I remind them, “It’s not where you are; it’s where you’re going.” These students are putting in the work, and it’s our job as legislators to give them the resources they need to build a better future for themselves, their community, and our state. Please join me in working to pass Senate Bill 5809.

State Sen. John Lovick, D-Mill Creek, represents the 44th Legislative District.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Monday, March 4

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, center, greets a new trooper during a graduation ceremony, as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on in the Rotunda at the Capitol Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. The class of 31 troopers completed more than 1,000 hours of training and will now work for the WSP across the state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Editorial: Lawmakers miss good shot for fewer traffic deaths

Legislation to lower the blood alcohol limit for drivers didn’t get floor debate and vote in Senate.

Comment: GOP’s primaries using bad math to assign delegates

If you think delegates are assigned proportionately, based on votes, take a closer look at the math.

Comment: ‘Just keep working’ isn’t a just retirement solution

A ‘Gray New Deal’ would improve jobs for older workers and restore and boost retirement security.

Having headlights on during day isn’t safe for some

I read a recent article in The Herald about cars having headlights… Continue reading

Replace Snake River dams to save salmon, orcas

Could a new Biden administration plan help save our iconic Southern Resident… Continue reading

Let states handle all immigration needs

OK, here we go again. Southern states have been screaming “state’s rights”… Continue reading

Harrop: Give Alabama credit for logical honesty regarding IVF

If life begins at conception, then frozen embryos are babies. It’s biologically false, but it’s consistent.

Saunders: Why is a once-trusted FBI informant now deemed a liar?

And why the extra effort to keep a non-violent suspect behind bars? It’s in Hunter Biden’s best interests.

Eco-nomics: Preparing for, limiting climate crisis demands a plan

Fortunately, local governments are developing and updating climate action plans to outline necessary steps.

A model of a statue of Billy Frank Jr., the Nisqually tribal fishing rights activist, is on display in the lobby of the lieutenant governor's office in the state Capitol. (Jon Bauer / The Herald.
Editorial: Two works in progress to save Columbia Basin salmon

Sculptures of an Indian fishing rights activist will guard commitments to save salmon and honor treaties.

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2015 file photo, a tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a wildfire burning near Twisp, Wash. Three firefighters were killed battling the blaze. The story was a top Washington state news item in 2015. Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has proposed a plan to strengthen the ways that Washington can prevent and respond to wildfires. Franz released the 10-year plan last week as part of her $55 million budget request to the Legislature to improve the state's firefighting abilities (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Editorial: Wildfire threat calls for restoring full funding

Lawmakers should restore funding for fighting wildfires and call on one furry firefighter in particular.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.