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State’s New Charter School Law is Challenged in Court

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A coalition of parents, educators and community groups has filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court challenging the constitutionality of Washington’s new charter schools law.

The complaint filed Wednesday argues the new law violates the state constitution by diverting public school dollars to private organizations that are not subject to voter control. And it contends the charter schools law gets in the way of the state’s constitutional obligation to pay for public schools.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the state teachers’ union, a group that represents Washington school administrators, the League of Women Voters, El Centro de la Raza and several parents, children and school advocates.

They are asking the court to prevent further implementation of the new law passed in November and to declare it unconstitutional.

Meanwhile Spokane is the only school district seeking permission from the Washington State Board of Education to authorize charter schools. Thirteen districts had expressed formal interest in the idea. But by Monday’s deadline, only Spokane turned in an application.

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