The following resolution has been submitted for approval to the King County Democrats.

Whereas the platforms of the King County Democrats and the Washington State Democrats specifically oppose publicly funded charter schools and vouchers; and

Whereas the voters of Washington State have defeated charter measures three times; and

Whereas peer-reviewed research shows that 83% of charter schools perform no better, and often worse, than public schools;i and

Whereas most charter schools serve only a select group of students; and

Whereas children with severe disabilities are rarely allowed access to charter schoolsii, students who do not meet school performance goals are “counseled out” of charter schools; and charter school populations are more segregated and less diverse than public schoolsiii; and

Whereas students are required to compete for positions in charter schools, rather than the open enrollment of public schools;

Whereas the financial instability of charter schools causes many of them to fail and close—sometimes in mid-year–creating greater instability in a community; and

Whereas Washington State is experiencing a prolonged fiscal and budgetary crisis, while charter school legislation would require substantial additional revenue; and

Whereas charter schools receive public funds but receive limited local or state oversightiv; and

Whereas some charter schools shift public moneys to private for-profit firms; and

Whereas charter schools often hire less qualified and inexperienced teachers to control their costs; and

Whereas charter school teachers are required to work longer hours and take on additional responsibilities with the same or less pay than their counterparts in public schools;

Therefore be it resolved, that we Democrats strongly advocate for continued prohibition of charter schools in Washington State, and

Be it further resolved that we as Democrats 1) reject the emphasis on charter schools as the vanguard approach for the education of children, instead of focusing attention, funding, and policy advocacy on improving existing public schools and 2) will work through local, state and federal legislative processes to ensure that all public schools are provided the necessary funding and support necessary to educate all students; and

Be it finally resolved that we Democrats urge our legislators to oppose charter schools and to work to support and to adequately fund public schools to educate all children to their highest potential.

Copies of this resolution shall be sent to all King County legislators Governor Gregoire, and Superintendant of Public Education Randy Dorn.

Passed by King County Democrats ______________________, 2012.

Prepared by Jack Whelan, jackwhelan1@comcast.net, (206-261-2495), 46th LD