Last month, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that charter schools – which voters approved in 2012 – are unconstitutional, due to the fact they are not governed by elected boards and are therefore unaccountable to taxpayers. As Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson asks the court to reconsider their opinion, we present two differing views on the issue. The below opinion is from Shirline Wilson, parent to a student at new charter school Rainier Prep. To read an anti-charter school opinion from teacher Angel Morton, click here.
When my family exercised our vote in favor of charter schools two years ago, we had every intention of following our vote at the earliest opportunity. While we understand there is no silver bullet that addresses every student’s need, the very existence of choice creates a window of opportunity for our family to find programs that address our child's passion for learning and match his strengths.
We have three children—one in college, a high school student and a middle school son. We have spent 26 years putting our three kids through school. I am a technology professional and my husband began his career as a teacher, and has since built a business as a writer and publisher. We recognize through our own life experiences the importance of preparing our children for college, the workforce and the world beyond.
We chose Rainier Prep — located in Highline — for our son, Miles, because of the enthusiasm of the school administration, great teacher qualifications and well prepared support staff. Further, my youngest son was excited about the opportunity to go to a school focused on his interests: Science, technology, math and giving back to his community. Rainier Prep also has a diverse school board who bring a range of real-world experience.
We knew it was the right fit for Miles, and our whole family was brimming with excitement at the start of the school year.