by David Ammons | May 22nd, 2012
Supporters of public charter schools have filed an 11th-hour initiative bid to authorize up to 40 charters over the next five years, to be operated by “qualified nonprofit organizations approved by the state.” Sponsor is Tania de Sa Campos of Seattle, with the League of Education Voters, part of a coalition backing the plan.
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5/22/2012 1:56 PM
Public Contact Information:
2734 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
The deadline for submitting signatures for the 2012 ballot is fast approaching — July 6. It takes 241,153 valid signatures of registered Washington voters to secure a place on the ballot, and the state Elections Division suggests turning in 300,000 or more to cover the customary invalid and duplicate signatures.
It takes several weeks to process an initiative and for the Attorney General’s Office to prepare a ballot title. Challengers then would have one week to ask Thurston County Superior Court for changes in the ballot title. After that, sponsors would be able to print petitions sheets and circulate them.
The Legislature considered charter schools this session, but the authorizing bills did not make it out of committee. On three occasions, voters have rejected charter school measures, but sponsors believe voters are growing more concerned about their schools and might be willing to try the new type of school, which receives per-pupil tax support but would be run independently from the regular schools and would have fewer regulations to deal with. Foes say the state already allows alternative schools, and that the charters would detract from the underfunded K-12 system.