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Washington State has experienced a long history of turmoil over charter schools.
It has held four state referenda over whether they should be allowed in the state. They are opposed by school boards, teachers’ unions, PTAs, and civil rights groups.
Bill Gates and his billionaire clique really wanted the state to have charter schools. So in 2012, they amassed a war chest and outspent the parents, teacher’s, and civil rights groups by a ratio of 17-1. The referendum passed by 1%.
Then the state’s highest court declared that charter schools are not public schools and can’t draw from the public school fund, because they don’t have elected school boards.
Next step, Gates and his friends spend big money to defeat the state court judges that opposed charter schools, but the justices won anyway.
So Gates’ surrogates go to the legislature and seek to get lottery money to support the charters that Bill wants so badly. Eager to please one of the state’s richest people (Bezos is the richest), the legislature dedicates the lottery to Bill’s charters.
After a few years, Gates commissions a CREDO evaluation of his charters, and CREDO says they don’t get different results than the state’s public schools.
Meanwhile, some of the charters close because of low enrollment.
But undaunted, Bill Gates presses forward.
Last week, Governor Jay Inslee signed bipartisan legislation to make sure that the Washington State Charter School Association could hire an e ecutive director and other staff.
Questions: since the charter schools serve no public purpose, why should the state pay for the employees of their lobby? Since the charters don’t get better results than public schools, why are they needed? Since the whole charter sector is tiny and ineffective, why doesn’t Gates pay for it himself?
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Wednesday that Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, sponsored to enhance administration capabilities at state charter schools.
House Bill 2853 will allow the Washington State Charter School Commission to hire an executive director and other employees.
The House and Senate approved the bill by large bipartisan majorities.
Harris did not attend Wednesday’s bill signing due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, but he put out a statement applauding the action.
“I’m very happy for our charter schools,” he said. “I believe every school in Washington, whether it’s public, private or chartered, deserves the opportunity to be successful. When our schools are successful, our kids are successful.”
Makes sense. The public must fund the charter lobbyists so that charter schools get more money. Don’t expect Gates to pay for his hobby, even though his net worth is more than $100 billion.