Magendanz statement on Charter School bill becoming law without the governor’s signature

Rep. Chad Magendanz, R-Issaquah, ranking member of the House Education Committee, released the following statement today regarding the charter school bill becoming law without the governor’s signature:

“I’m very happy for our public charter school community — including students, parents, teachers and other advocates. It has been a long seven months of uncertainty and they now have some assurance for the future.

“I’m disappointed the governor did not sign the bill and have the courage to stand behind our voter-approved public charter schools. I simply do not share his concerns about taxpayer accountability provisions. These public schools will be held accountable for their outcomes.

“The governor’s lack of support for this thoughtful, bipartisan solution from state lawmakers and advocates sends the wrong message to the families who have embraced these public schools as alternatives. He should be more understanding of the unique needs of our students and the promise these public schools hold in addressing these needs.”

Magendanz sponsored the companion bill to Senate Bill 6194. The bill will keep charter schools open, free to the public, and operating separately from the common school system.

The legislation is in response to the State Supreme Court ruling in September 2015 that invalidated the citizen’s initiative that created charter schools. The court determined charters are not common schools and could not be funded in the same way. Funding for charter schools will now be through the Opportunity Pathways account, a constitutionally unrestricted funding source of lottery revenue.

Senate Bill 6194 passed the House with a vote of 58-39 and the Senate, 26-23.

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