Legacy Report

The Washington State Charter School Commission (Commission) was a statewide charter school authorizer whose mission was to authorize high-quality public charter schools and provide effective oversight and transparent accountability to improve educational outcomes for at-risk students.

Governed by a Commission of nine members appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Lieutenant Governor, the Commission oversaw the opening of seven charter schools across Washington. These schools served more than 800 students. On September 4, 2015, Washington State’s Supreme Court struck down the entire Charter School Act, putting the more than 800 students enrolled in Commission-authorized charter schools at severe risk of their school closing. The Court’s decision was devastating to students, families, teachers, and leaders who have spent over two years preparing to serve underrepresented students through effective and innovative methods. This report provides a brief history of the Commission, the charter schools it authorized and descriptions of processes and resources that were developed in service of developing a public charter school sector in Washington. The Commission feels compelled to share our lessons learned and pass along the resources we have developed in hopes that future charter school authorizers in Washington can continue down the path we forged of authorizing and providing high-quality transparent oversight to charter schools.

Sincerely,

JOSHUA HALSEY

Executive Director

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