Will Washington State's Education Innovation Include Charter Schools?

Marion Herbert's picture
Monday, January 23, 2012

Will the fourth time be the charm for charter schools in Washington? Two companion bills are working their ways through Washington's Senate and House to create charter schools and "Transformation Zone Districts."

Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, introduced the Senate bill. He said time is riper now than in 2004, when the state last flirted with the controversial concept. Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle, introduced the same bill in the House.

More states — 41 plus Washington, D.C. — have charter schools than in 2004, Tom said. And America is currently doing serious soul-searching about education. There are 5,275 charter schools in the nation.

"Washington has a history of innovation (in education), and this bill will add one more option to that flexibility," Tom said. "We've taken the best of what works."

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