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Blog Posts Show Disregard for Truth About Proposed Charter School Rules

OLYMPIA — June 1, 2015 — Liv Finne’s Washington Policy Center blog posts from May 27 and 29, 2015, are inaccurate and misleading.

Ms. Finne wrongly accuses State Superintendent Randy Dorn of proposing rules that will hurt families whose children will attend charter schools. That statement, and others, show a complete disregard for the truth.

The proposed rules simply codify fiscal and reporting rules to ensure charter schools receive timely payment from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to provide basic education services to their students. They are the same rules followed by traditional public schools and the one charter school currently operating in our state.

It is important to remember that, under the law, charter schools are public schools, spending public dollars. They are subject to oversight from OSPI in most respects.

“When I took office in 2009, I took an oath to uphold the laws of the state of Washington,” Dorn said. “That includes the laws regarding charter schools. I am committed to the success of charter schools because they educate public school students.”

Specifically:

  • The proposed rules do not, as Ms. Finne writes, “cut funding to charter schools compared to what is provided under the charter school law.” They treat payments from OSPI to charter schools the same as those to traditional public schools, as is required by law.
  • The proposed rules do not “impose hiring quotas.” They require charter schools to maintain the same student/certificated staff ratio that exists in traditional public schools.
  • Ms. Finne claims the proposed rules give OSPI the power to “reject” charter school budgets. Not so. Under OSPI’s current rules, smaller school districts are required to submit their budgets to educational service districts for their review, alteration and approval. The proposed rules, however, require charter schools to submit budgets to OSPI for review and, if needed, technical assistance.
  • Regarding special education, transitional bilingual, and other categorical program funds, the proposed rules treat charter schools like all other public schools. There is nothing in the charter school law that allows them to be exempt from state law in these areas.
  • The rules do not “limit the types of bonuses” that can be given to charter school teachers. The rules make charter school teachers eligible for the bonuses the state pays teachers who have earned National Board certification.
  • And OSPI never intended to adopt these rules by May 29, as Ms. Finne alleges. OSPI is still taking public comment on the proposed draft rules and hopes to have final rules in place this fall, which is the normal timeline for rules adoption.

Over and over, OSPI has been required to correct inaccuracies in Ms. Finne’s blog posts. As always, a simple phone call to OSPI could have cleared up her confusion.

Ms. Finne is entitled to her opinions. It is unfortunate she so often fails to support those opinions with facts.

 

About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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CONTACT:
Kristen Jaudon
Communications Specialist
(360) 725-6032 | Kristen.Jaudon@k12.wa.us

Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 | nathan.olson@k12.wa.us

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

 

   Updated 6/2/2015

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