The suit argues that in enacting Initiative 1240 voters violated the state constitution by “improperly diverting public schools funds to private organizations that are not subject to local voter control and by impeding the State’s constitutional obligation to amply provide for and fully fund K-12 public education.”
WEA lawyers were joined in the suit by leaders from anti-charter groups, including Washington Association of School Administrators, the League of Women Voters, and El Centro de la Raza.
These groups were heavily involved in last year’s unsuccessful political campaign to defeat charter school legalization in Washington. As part of the No on Charters 1240 campaign they argued, “Most of our children won’t have access to these [charter] schools...” They lost, but now they want to keep all children from attending a charter school in Washington.
The WEA union is widely recognized as the primary obstacle to education reform in the state, so education analysts have long expected an anti-Initiative 1240 lawsuit would be filed some time this year. The move, however, puts the union in the unpopular position of trying to stop an important educational improvement that benefits children and is supported by parents, the public and, yes, many school teachers.
This report is part of Washington Policy Center’s Initiative 1240 Follow-Up Project.