Examining Charter Schools
Peterson said he’s concerned about the financial impact a Charter school could have on a local community, something voters may not have considered. He said a Charter school could pop up in your local school district, and the local school board and community will have little to no control over it. Also, the State allocation for school kids and local levy money has to be shared, plus local communities have to give Charter schools a facility at no charge.
Peterson does question how much of a market there is for Charter Schools locally. Currently, in Mason and Kitsap counties, people are free to choose any of the schools within the counties. Peterson isn’t sure what a Charter school could offer differently to get enough clients to afford to run a school. But, Peterson said now that the initiative is passed, there may be some benefit in converting one local school from public to charter, “We have an alternative school, our PACE academy, primarily for kids, who are really focused on graduating, who have found themselves behind in credits, or their situation requires that they are working full time. It may be worthwhile for us to look into converting that school into a Charter school.
Initiative 1240 allows for up to 40 Charter schools to open in Washington over the next 5 years.
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