The education community was rocked late Friday afternoon when the Supreme Court in the state of Washington handed down a 6-3 decision that charter schools do not qualify as “common schools” and are unconstitutional.
Voters there passed Initiative 1240 in 2012 to allow charter schools. (This vote received a lot of attention because of the amount of money spent by charter school supporters urging a yes vote.) Up to 40 charters could be opened with five years. One opened at the beginning of the 2014-15 school years and eight more were set to open this year.
The ruling hinged upon the issue that charter schools in Washington are controlled by a charter school board, not by local voters, and therefore, should not receive funding intended for public schools.
The Alabama legislature passed a charter school bill in this year’s regular session.
The bill states: GOVERNING BOARD. The independent board of a public charter school that is party to the charter contract with the authorizer. A governing board shall have at lest 20 percent of it’s membership be parents of students who attend or have attended the public charter school for at least one academic year. Before the first day of instruction, the 20 percent membership requirement may be satisfield by parents who intend to have their student attend the public ahrter school.
Will this decision have impact in Alabama–or any other states? The $64 million question. No doubt it will send both proponents and opponents of charters to the drawing board throughout the country.
Here is the bill passed by Alabama.