JCL Blog

Tomorrow We Could be the 42nd State to Get Charter Schools

Tomorrow is election day and I am quite interested to see how things are going to work out.  I am always interested in election results, but this year I am heavily invested in our local initiative for charter schools -- initiative 1240.  My interest is not personal in that my kids will be out of school by the time the first charter school goes into operation.  However I am working hard to pass I-1240 because I think it is vital that we figure out how to do a better job educating people in our state.  I have learned some interesting things as I have worked to support I-1240.

  1.  The Importance of Education:  I have been amazed at how many people I talk to are not interested in I-1240 because they don't have school age kids, or their kids already go to a great school.  I fear I never was all that convincing when trying to share my enthusiasm for creating a more competitive Washington State.  I wish I had figured out a better way to explain why I think they are connected.
  2. Philanthropy is Misunderstood:  Opponents have worked to condemn the initiative because it has been supported by rich white guys like the co-founders of Microsoft, and other famous techies.  The idea that these guys actually want to improve our state is hard to accept I guess.  Charter schools mostly serve the people with very few educational options.  The rich philanthropists are already among the 25% of parents in our area that send their kids to private schools.  They will not directly benefit from this initiative.  
  3. Catching Up or Blazing a Trail:  Going into this I thought it would be pretty easy to convince people to vote for the initiative because 41 other states already had charter schools and there are many incredible success stories.  I have been surprised to learn that our voters have no problem blazing a trail on the legalization of marajuana which currently leads 53-44 in the polls.  The approval numbers for charter schools are about the same.

All together I am delighted that the numbers look good for Initiative 1240 and I am greatful to all of you that are going to make sure to vote for the future of our State of Washington.