I-729: Charter plan makes the grade this time around

Four years ago we encouraged voters to strike down two initiatives we thought would undermine public education — vouchers and charter schools.

The charter school initiative was inaccurately defined, we argued, and didn’t provide enough accountability. There are ways to make charter schools work, we said. Try again, we told supporters.

They did. And now we’re more than comfortable encouraging people to vote yes on Initiative 729.

Initiative 729 does two major things: It gives parents more choices for their children within the public school system and it serves as the shot of competition the public school system needs to raise and maintain standards of excellence.

Granted, it’s a nerve-wracking initiative for the public school system because it would rearrange the budget. If a student leaves a traditional public school for a charter school, the allotted money for that child goes with. But that money belongs to the taxpayers and they should be the ones to decide what’s best for their children within certain guidelines and state standards. Besides, charter schools stand to attract home-schoolers and private school students whose dissatisfied parents withdrew them from public school.

Initiative 729 has a built-in accountability system. The schools must meet the criteria established by the parents and other founders. And students are still required to meet state standards. The schools must answer to their non-profit schools boards and public school or university sponsors. Above all, they must answer to taxpaying parents and the public that voted in favor of initiatives such as 601 and 695.

Charter schools are a hot topic because so many parents aren’t totally satisfied with our state’s education system today. They’ve already tried to work within the current structure. It’s not too much to ask for something new and reasonable that already exists in 37 other states.

There’s a difference between renovating our education system and undermining it. Initiative 729 gives us the chance to explore new and better ways to educate children. We can’t keep telling parents no.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Saturday, July 20

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

Scott Spahr, Generation Engineering Manager at Snohomish County PUD, points to a dial indicating 4 megawatts of power production from one of two Francis turbine units at the Henry M. Jackson Powerhouse on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, near Sultan, Washington. Some of the water that passes through units 3 and 4 — the two Francis turbines — is diverted to Lake Chaplain, which supplies water to Everett. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: Amber King best suited for PUD’s 2nd District seat

Among three solid candidates, King’s knowledge of utilities and contracts will serve ratepayers well.

From the Publisher: The Herald’s team is committed to readers

I’m returning as publisher to aid The Herald during its transition and continue its 123-year legacy.

Comment: We need to think hard on political discourse

The attempt on Donald Trump’s life should bring reflection on how we respond to others’ beliefs.

Comment: Vote yes to bring power of Everett port across county

A countywide port district would offer the tools and funding to foster economic development and jobs.

Forum: Port of Everett’s Prop 1 adds bureaucracy and new tax

Its yes campaign claims jobs and projects, but its tax and authority will diminish local control.

Comment: Court’s rulings a win for citizens over regulators

The rulings regarding ‘Chevron deference’ and the SEC keep the three branches in their lanes.

Editorial cartoons for Friday, July 19

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

Vote 2024. US American presidential election 2024. Vote inscription, badge, sticker. Presidential election banner Vote 2024, poster, sign. Political election campaign symbol. Vector Illustration
Editorial: Return Wagoner and Low to 39th Disrict seats

‘Workhorse’ Republicans, both have sponsored successful solution-oriented legislation in each chamber.

Schwab: Attempt on Trump’s life doesn’t require giving up

Those opposed to a second Trump term still are allowed to speak their minds and cast their votes.

Vote for more of Port of Everett’s projects by voting for Prop. 1

Letters and editorials are flying, both pro and con, on Proposition 1:… Continue reading

We need answers to questions about Alderwood mall shooting

I was deeply saddened reading the article about the memorial service for… Continue reading

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.