Walsh and Nealey support bill to save charter schools

The state House approved a bill 58-39 Wednesday to save Washington's public charter schools. Reps. Maureen Walsh and Terry Nealey voted 'yes' on the legislation.

Senate Bill 6194 would reestablish public charter schools in Washington state and provide for a constitutional funding source. Just before the school year began in September, the state Supreme Court invalidated charter schools since they were not considered common schools and could not be funded as such.

Walsh, who spoke on final passage of the legislation, said the bill is paramount to the more than 120 students who would have attended the Willow School in Walla Walla had the court not ruled charter schools unconstitutional.

“Finding a solution to save charter schools was a top priority for lawmakers when the 2016 legislative session began,” said Walsh, R-Walla Walla. “Charter schools like our own Willow School in Walla Walla have been a great answer for families when our public education system has fallen short. If charter schools can get more kids to the finish line of graduating high school, then I am all for it!”

“There are areas in the state where public schools are not meeting basic standards. Parents and other interested people have demonstrated great incentive to invest their time, energy and resources to create a school they think offers a better education choice for their students,” said Nealey, R-Dayton. “Charter schools provide an alternate learning experience to the regular public school format. So long as there is accountability to the public, which was required by the court, charter schools can provide a very good educational choice.”

The bill now awaits concurrence in the Senate.


Washington State House Republican Communications