2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 62%
Washington earns a “D” in the rankings. The state’s law fails to provide for authorizer independence nor does it provide equitable funding for charters. Additionally, a second lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of charters has greatly hampered the growth of the charter school sector in this state.
- Law passed in 2012
- Number of charter schools: 8
- Estimated charter school enrollment: 1,300
- Charter growth is capped at up to eight schools per year with a maximum of forty schools per year
- Online charter schools are not permitted
- Washington earns 4 of 15 points for “authorizing.” Washington’s law permits two entities to authorize charter schools: the Washington Charter School Commission and public school districts (which must first receive state approval to authorize schools). Washington’s law does not provide a route for charter schools to appeal arbitrary or unfair decisions made by either the Commission or local districts.
- Washington earns 3 of 15 points for “growth”. The law caps charter schools at 40, and states that no more than 8 charters can be authorized each year for the first 5 years of the statute. There has been little growth in the charter sector due to a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of charters.
- Washington earns 11 of 20 points for “operations.” Charter schools in Washington are exempt from most rules that apply to traditional schools. However, authorizers have the ability to
write rules and regulations into charters, which ultimately limits autonomy. State law requires charter school teachers to be traditionally certified. This can hamper an operator’s autonomy to assemble the best staff.
- Washington earns 2 of 15 for “funding equity.” Washington’s law states the state superintendent should allocate funding to charter schools and that the amount of funding should be determined by calculating a statewide average of a variety of funding categories (special education, general funding, categorical). Authorizers can retain a maximum four percent authorizer oversight fee. Charter schools do not receive per-pupil facilities funding.
Teacher Quality Score: 72%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers B-
Expanding the Pool of Teachers F
Identifying Effective Teachers C
Retaining Effective Teachers C
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C
Overall State Grade C-