Ken Schram: Charter schools not the answer

So, Washington state voters could get another shot at charter schools.

Following some wrestling over ballot language, Initiative 1240 is now clear to begin collecting 241,000+ signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

Voters turned thumbs down on charter schools back in 1996, again in 2000 and yet again in 2004.

I hope the 4th time is not the charm.

While charter schools are still considered public schools, they're run independently from local district control.

As part of their operation, said schools come with a provision that they prove they are improving student achievement.

Looking into areas where charter schools have been operating, the truth is that some do an excellent job; some are pretty much average and some are downright terrible.

For example, in New York City, it's reported that only about 100 of the city's 40,000 homeless kids are in charter schools.

In general, charter schools take fewer special ed students.

The same is true for English as a second language students.

Do we really want to roll the economic dice on a separate public school system that will take away much needed resources from general K - 12 public schools?

Yep, Washington voters could get another shot at charter schools.

Let's hope we keep in mind what that means for kids.

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