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Charter Alternative Blocked In Court

Phyllis Fletcher

An agreement that would have given Seattle something close to charter schools is on hold. A judge in King County Superior court ruled Thursday against the Seattle School Board in a lawsuit.


The school board decided this year to approve a way for schools to get policy waivers from the school district. Those waivers would let them change curricula or schedules, or opt out of standardized tests like charter schools can in other states.

It was a proposal from the teachers' union. But a group of teachers and parents objected and said the board skirted state law with the new idea, because it gave up too much control.

Now a judge says the board cannot implement the policy as it's written because of a state law that says responsibility to set policy and provide oversight belongs to school boards.

The charter workaround had been called "Creative Approach." It was scheduled to go into effect in a year, fall of 2013.

The court ruling came down as another effort to change law around charter schools was wrapping up. People who want charters have been gathering signatures for three weeks. If they have enough valid signatures, charters would be on the ballot in Washington this fall — for a fourth time.

Washington is one of only nine states that does not allow charter schools.

I'm Phyllis Fletcher, KUOW News.

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