NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Senate concurs with House’s amendments to charters bailout, sending it to Governor Inslee

By a vote of twen­ty-six to twen­ty-three, the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate has con­curred in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive’s amend­ments to E2SSB 6194, Steve Lit­zow’s bill to bail out char­ter schools, which were declared uncon­sti­tu­tion­al by the Wash­ing­ton State Supreme Court in League of Women Vot­ers last autumn.

The vote was most­ly along par­ty lines, though Democ­rats Mark Mul­let and Steve Hobbs crossed over to help the Repub­li­cans pass the bill, while Repub­li­cans Bri­an Dansel and Kirk Pear­son joined the remain­ing Democ­rats in vot­ing against it.

E2SSB 6194
Char­ter schools bailout
Sen­ate vote on Final Pas­sage as Amend­ed by the House
3/10/2016

Yeas: 26; Nays: 23

Vot­ing Yea: Sen­a­tors Angel, Bai­ley, Baum­gart­ner, Beck­er, Ben­ton, Braun, Brown, Dammeier, Erick­sen, Fain, Hewitt, Hill, Hobbs, Hon­ey­ford, King, Lit­zow, Milos­cia, Mul­let, O’Ban, Pad­den, Par­lette, Rivers, Roach, Schoesler, Shel­don, Warnick

Vot­ing Nay: Sen­a­tors Bil­lig, Car­lyle, Chase, Cleve­land, Con­way, Dansel, Darneille, Fras­er, Frockt, Habib, Har­grove, Hasegawa, Jaya­pal, Keis­er, Liias, McAu­li­ffe, McCoy, Nel­son, Pear­son, Ped­er­sen, Ranker, Rolfes, Takko

E2SSB 6194 now heads to Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee. Inslee has not said what he will do with the bill. We at NPI urge him to veto it in its entirety.

As we said yes­ter­day in our open let­ter to the Leg­is­la­ture:

Your para­mount duty is to fund our pub­lic schools. It is not appro­pri­ate to tell the one mil­lion chil­dren in our pub­lic schools that they must wait at least two more years for that duty to be met while at the same time sud­den­ly com­ing up with new mon­ey for pri­vate char­ter schools.

We’re extreme­ly dis­ap­point­ed that majori­ties in each house have seen fit to ignore the Supreme Court’s orders in McCleary, leav­ing over a mil­lion kids in the lurch, while bend­ing over back­ward to ensure that the twen­ty-two lob­by­ists work­ing for a char­ter schools bailout got what they and their employ­ers wanted.

The Supreme Court, a coequal branch of our gov­ern­ment, spoke loud­ly and clear­ly when it said char­ter schools are uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, just as it did in McCleary when it ruled that Wash­ing­ton’s schools were being mas­sive­ly under­fund­ed. But leg­is­la­tors aren’t lis­ten­ing. They’ve been held in con­tempt. They’ve been fined. They’ve been repeat­ed­ly instruct­ed to do their jobs. And yet, they col­lec­tive­ly refuse to act.

Pro­po­nents of this leg­is­la­tion keep talk­ing about sav­ing schools. 

If the majori­ties that passed these bills real­ly care about Wash­ing­ton’s kids, why aren’t they work­ing on pro­gres­sive rev­enue reform to get our pub­lic schools the fund­ing they need? Our pub­lic schools are the schools that need sav­ing — not char­ters!  The wealthy inter­ests that favor divert­ing pub­lic mon­ey to schools that are not pub­licly owned and oper­at­ed for the ben­e­fit of all have more than enough mon­ey to keep the eight remain­ing char­ters open with­out a dime from taxpayers.

Gov­er­nor Inslee should rec­og­nize this and uphold the Supreme Court’s deci­sion in League of Women Vot­ers by veto­ing E2SSB 6194. If the leg­isla­tive branch will not respect the deci­sions of our judi­cia­ry, at least the exec­u­tive depart­ment should.

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3 Comments

  1. Bail­ing out what accounts to a pri­vate busi­ness with tax dol­lars is incon­ceiv­able. They should get no mon­ey, they should receive no funds from the leg­is­la­ture, and each and every one of these abom­inable schools should close down. Pub­lic schools have been suf­fer­ing con­tin­u­ous­ly with poor resources and low staffing and high class sizes for far too long. Enough is enough!

    # by Gabriel Givens :: March 10th, 2016 at 6:51 PM
  2. Back­wards pri­or­i­ties. Mon­ey talks in Olympia, just like in D.C.

    # by Darby Snead :: March 11th, 2016 at 1:36 PM
  3. So very dis­ap­point­ing. Leg­is­la­ture can’t bring itself to stand up for the kids who aren’t backed by dozens of lob­by­ists and bil­lions of dollars. 

    # by Randi Ricardo :: March 18th, 2016 at 10:19 AM

One Ping

  1. […] ago, Repub­li­can-dom­i­nat­ed majori­ties in the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­ate passed a bill restor­ing fund­ing for char­ter schools and allow­ing new char­ters to be autho­rized, in defi­ance of […]