On September 4, right before the beginning of the Labor Day holiday weekend, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that charter schools are unconstitutional and ineligible for public school funds. We are all still shocked by that devastating decision.
Friday, October 23 marks the deadline for the Washington State Charter Schools Association and other charter advocates to file a Motion for Reconsideration with the Washington State Supreme Court. The Washington State Attorney General—also supportive of the charters’ position—filed its Motion for Reconsideration last month. In addition to filing a Motion for Reconsideration, the State Attorney General also filed a Motion for a Stay of the Court’s Mandate, asking that the court delay the effective date of its ruling until the end of the school year if it denies the State’s motion for reconsideration. Additional, relevant pleadings also will be filed in the coming days. If the State Supreme Court ultimately grants the Motion for a Stay, it would mean that the students already enrolled in Washington charter schools could complete the 2015-16 school year in their chosen charter schools.
As we await the court’s ultimate decisions, the future of the State’s charter schools truly hangs in the balance. The court could potentially issue a final, demoralizing ruling that would effectively close the charter schools. Ideally, though, we hope the court rules in such a way that preserves this valuable public school option for the 1,200 students currently enrolled in Washington charter schools, and the families hoping to access quality schools in the future.