Judge Rietschel approves charter school law
This morning Judge Jean Rietschel upheld Initiative 1240, the voters’ charter school law, clearing the way for Washington’s first charter schools to open next fall. Her ruling rejects claims made by Washington Education Association, the state teachers union, and the League of Women Voters, that Initiative 1240 violates the state constitution.
Judge Rietschel held the charter law is part of the constitution’s general and uniform system of schools, because the law does not require all schools to be identical. She did hold that the provisions of the charter law which describe charter schools as common schools are unconstitutional, for lack of local voter control, making them ineligible to receive state matching funds for construction. However, she severed these provisions of the law, allowing the Washington State Charter School Commission and Spokane Public Schools to proceed with their work to open charter schools to Washington’s students next fall.
This report is part of Washington Policy Center's I-1240 Follow-up Project