Commission may adopt policies relating to their function and statutorily mandated responsibilities of the regulation of charter public schools. Recent examples of program policies include the Commission’s Equity Policy and Transitional Kindergarten.
The Washington State Charter School Commission is a partner with the charter public school community in serving all students as our state works to close the opportunity gaps between the most and the least privileged groups of students in the education system. Charter public schools pursue equity by fostering innovation and ensuring excellence so that every student has access to and thrives in a high-quality public school.
As the state’s only non-district and statewide charter school authorizer, the Commission’s mission is to authorize high-quality charter public schools, especially schools designed to expand opportunities for students who have been underserved, and to ensure the highest standards of accountability and oversight for these schools.
The Commission has a moral obligation and legal obligation to cultivate charter schools where socio-economic status and protected groups status such as race, gender, language, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability cease to be a predictor of academic and life outcomes. Educational equity benefits all students and our entire community.
The Commission will align its practices, policies and procedures and support the charter schools it authorizes and oversees to achieve and maintain educational equity.
The Commission adopted its Transitional Kindergarten (TK) policy at the December 2020 Commission meeting. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has defined TK as a program of kindergarten for children not yet age five who do not have access to high-quality early learning experiences prior to kindergarten. We know the importance of kindergarten readiness on both short-term academic outcomes and long-term life outcomes and are excited that charter public schools can offer this much needed support to students in their communities. The Commission has built upon OSPI’s “Five Pillars of Transitional Kindergarten” while considering the unique considerations of the Charter School Act and charter public school operations. Over the course of the next months, the Commission will be developing a process for operational schools to petition the Commission to operate TK at their school.
An authorized charter public school may apply for an expansion or renewal as they seek to serve their community.
Charter public schools have additional accountability requirements beyond those of traditional public schools.