It seems as if the teachers unions across America fight against education alternatives other than neighborhood ZIP code schools. This is not to say that the teachers, themselves, object to alternative education channels such as charter schools. Matter of fact, we have heard that Anchorage School District charter school teachers love the curriculum, the parent support and the charter school model that helps so many students achieve their potential.
We do know, however, that the power players in public K12 education object to encouraging and even growing the charter school model that does work. And Alaska is not alone. You see, our friends in Washington State are having problems even establishing the newly legislated public charter schools. The Washington Education Association teachers union has even taken the issue to the state courts to shut down the new public charter schools, throwing children back into neighborhood schools–some of which are failing.
We just don’t get why the leaders of the WEA would want to cheat these children and their parents out of a public school of choice. A public charter school where these children can flourish and achieve the American dream.
Here is an article from Liv Finne, of our sister organization the Washington Policy Center on the current court battle:
“WEA union faces setback in legal effort to close schoolsBy LIV FINNE
Nov 23, 2016
Executives at the WEA union faced another setback in court last Friday in their latest attempt to close the state’s public charter schools.
King County Superior Court Judge John Chun rejected requests to join the suit from executives at five labor organizations and three left-wing advocacy groups that want to keep children from attending the innovative public schools. The unions the judge dismissed from the case are: The Teamsters, the Aerospace Machinists, the Washington State Labor Council, the Washington Federation of State Employees and the American Federation of Teachers Washington.
The three advocacy groups the judge turned away are the League of Women Voters, El Centro de la Raza and the Washington Association of School Administrators.
Observers I talked to were surprised that the School Administrators association, led by Bill Keim, and who one would think would be in favor of expanding, not shrinking, the number of public education options, now say they want to close public charter schools to families.
This is not the first time union executives have sought to close the state’s charter schools. An aggressive lawsuit filed by Kim Mead, president of the powerful WEA union, resulted last year in a hostile court order that sought to cut off funding to every charter school in the state, stunning the families of 1,200 children just as the school year started.
Parents, students and teachers turned to the legislature for protection from the WEA’s hostile action. Lawmakers quickly passed a bipartisan bill, SB 6194, to provide full funding for public charter schools. Governor Inslee refused to sign the bill, but he eventually agreed to let it become law without his signature.
After the union’s latest setback in court, Tatiana Cueva, a high school student at a charter school in Tacoma, told KOMO 4 News:
“Every student deserves a school that will inspire them and that will serve their needs, and will serve our families and communities best.”
Expressions like this from thoughtful students explain why charter schools are popular with public education families. Today 1,600 children attend charters, and three more are scheduled to open next year.
I will continue to monitor the WEA union’s latest attack on charter schools families, and will report further actions by the court as they occur.
This report is part of WPC’s Charter School Follow-up Project.”