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February 4, 2011 at 5:19 PM

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McGinn holds meeting on charter schools

Posted by Linda Shaw

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn spent about an hour Friday discussing charter schools with two University of Washington experts and advocates, along with a conference table full of people from the city, Seattle Public Schools, unions, and at least one foundation.

So does that mean McGinn might advocate for charters here? Even though voters have already turned them down three times, most recently in 2004?

No answer on that one yet.

McGinn said he's open to the idea. He may have voted against them three times, as he said Friday that he thinks he did, but his questions showed a lot of interest in charters -- the publicly funded but privately run schools that exist in all but 10 states, one of which is Washington.

During the meeting he organized at City Hall, McGinn also suggested that charters might be a way to attract more students to Seattle's public schools.

It's kind of like the Microsoft Connector bus from Seattle to that company's headquarters, he said, saying he wonders why the city isn't running that as a public service instead.

"I think there's an analogy there," he said.

But McGinn also said afterward that charter schools are just one of a number of education reform ideas he's been discussing with city, business and education leaders.
And he hasn't had much to say about any of them -- although he may down the road.

And when might that be? No answer yet on that one, either.

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