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November 3, 2012 at 5:00 AM

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Initiative 1240: Charter schools in Washington state

Charter schools not public

Defeated in 1996, 2000 and 2004, the charter-school industry is back again trying to fool the people that charters are, indeed, public. The only thing public about charter schools is that the corporations running them are funded with public money that would otherwise be going to, yes, real public schools.

Charters are not run by or accountable to local school boards and what little oversight is built into the plan is a joke. Charters are privately run but publicly funded — a diversion of public money to profit corporate coffers and business executives with no formal training in education.

Cutting school budgets, using teach-to-the-test programmed lessons, demonizing teachers, and trashing unions help make bad schools a self-fulfilling prophesy. Charters promise more flexibility in instruction. Wouldn't that be a welcome change for our public schools that have been forced into strait jackets in their curriculum offerings?

And the bottom line is that many charter schools do no better than public schools and many do worse. That is the record the ads never mention. Don't be fooled by their big-money ads. Vote no on I-1240, again, please.

– Linda Sutton, Port Townsend

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