Difference between revisions of "Washington Charter School Authorization, Referendum 55 (2004)"

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{{wabm}}{{tnr}}The '''Washington Charter School Authorization, Referendum 55''' was on the [[Washington 2004 ballot measures|November 2, 2004]] ballot in [[Washington]] as a [[veto referendum]], where a vote of the people '''overturned a recently enacted law''' passed by the [[Washington State Legislature]].
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{{tnr}}{{wabm}}The '''Washington Charter School Authorization, Referendum 55''' was on the [[Washington 2004 ballot measures|November 2, 2004]] ballot in [[Washington]] as a [[veto referendum]], where a vote of the people '''overturned a recently enacted law''' passed by the [[Washington State Legislature]].
  
* Yes: 1,122,964 (41.7%)
+
R-55, if the voters had approved it, would have upheld a law authorizing public charter schools. Since the law was rejected, public charter schools are not allowed in the state.  The schools that would have been allowed would have had conditions on their operation including that they would have to be operated by qualified nonprofit corporations, under contracts with local education boards, and they would have been allocated certain public funds.
* No: 1,572,203 (58.3%) {{defeated}}
+
  
==Impact==
+
The law challenged by R-55 was called '''Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2295 (ESSHB 2295)'''.  It was passed in the 2004 session of the state legislature on its final passage: Senate: Yeas, 27; Nays, 22; Absent, 0; Excused, 0. House: Yeas, 51; Nays, 46; Absent, 0; Excused, 1. <ref name=guide>[http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/guide/measures.aspx Washington Secretary of State - Online Voters' Guide: Measures]</ref>
  
'''Referendum Measure No. 55''' would authorize charter public schools and would set conditions on operations. Charter schools would be operated by qualified nonprofit corporations, under contracts with local education boards, and allocated certain public funds.
+
A "yes" vote was a vote to uphold ESSHB 2295, the public charter school law. A "no" vote was a vote to reject public charter schools.
  
Votes cast by the 2004 Legislature on final passage: Senate: Yeas, 27; Nays, 22; Absent, 0; Excused, 0. House: Yeas, 51; Nays, 46; Absent, 0; Excused, 1.
+
R-55 had the distinction that [[wikipedia:Rosa Parks|Rosa Parks]] became involved, endorsing a "yes" vote.
  
The legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2295 (ESSHB 2295) concerning charter public schools. <ref>[http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/guide/measures.aspx Washington Secretary of State - Online Voters' Guide: Measures]</ref>
+
==Election results==
  
==Support==  
+
{{Short outcome
'''30% OF OUR KIDS DROP OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL.'''
+
| title = Referendum 55, Charter Schools
 +
| yes = 1,122,964
 +
| yespct = 41.7
 +
| no = 1,572,203
 +
| nopct = 58.3
 +
| total = 2,695,167
 +
| turnoutpct = NA
 +
}}
  
'''CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL HELP.'''
+
==Estimated fiscal impact==
  
:Our public schools work well for most children, but not all. 30% of students drop out of high school. More than 50% of African-American, Latino and Native-American children drop out.
+
The estimated fiscal impact of R-55 as estimated by the Washington Office of Financial Management was:
  
:Charter public schools are tuition-free public schools that are managed independently from the usual bureaucracy. They help children who are falling through the cracks of our regular public school system.
+
:"Referendum 55 would authorize creation of charter public schools by local school districts or, through an appeals process, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction. State education spending would increase $14.0 million over five years, primarily the result of new students entering the public school system to attend charter schools. State funding for charter public schools would be provided in the same manner as other public schools. As students already enrolled in the public school system move to charter schools, student instructional and other costs would shift and associated state revenue would be reallocated. District-sponsored schools also would receive local revenue."
  
'''EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN PUBLIC EDUCATION IS OUR GOAL.'''
+
==Support==
 +
[[File:Rosa Parks.jpg|thumb|Civil rights heroine Rosa Parks, who endorsed a "yes" vote on R-55]]
 +
===Supporters===
  
'''CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL HELP.'''
+
Supporters of a "yes" vote on R-55, to uphold public charter schools, as listed in the official Voter's Guide included:
  
:In low-income areas, too many children are trapped in low-performing schools because their families cannot afford to live in neighborhoods with better schools. The system doesn’t work for them. They are denied equal opportunity to learn.
+
* Dave Quall, Democrat, State Representative, teacher, Chair, House Education Committee
 +
* Stephen Johnson, Republican, State Senator, Chair, Senate Education Committee
 +
* David Shaw, past Pasco Superintendent and State Accountability Commission Chair
 +
* Dr. Sam Smith, former President, Washington State University
 +
* Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza
 +
* Rosa Parks, Mother of the Modern American Civil Rights Movement.
  
:While spending more money may help many kids, we need more than just money to solve the dropout and “achievement gap” problems. The system needs to change. Charter schools reduce bureaucracy and empower teachers and principals to innovate.
+
===Arguments in favor===
  
'''R-55 FREES EDUCATORS FROM BUREAUCRACY SO THEY CAN HELP EDUCATIONALLY UNDERSERVED CHILDREN.'''
+
Arguments made in the official Voter's Guide by R-55's supporters included:
  
:Qualified nonprofits run charter public schools under detailed, 5-year performance contracts. Like other public schools, charters employ state-certified teachers and cannot discriminate in admissions. Unlike other public schools, charters must pass independent performance audits.
+
* 30% of Washington public school students drop out.
 +
* More than 50% of African-American, Latino and Native-American children drop out.
 +
* Charter schools will help solve the drop-out problem, and other problems with Washington's public school system.
 +
* Charter schools, because they "reduce bureaucracy and empower teachers and principals to innovate", will help solve these problems.
 +
* To be accredited as a public charter school under this measure, "Qualified nonprofits run charter public schools under detailed, 5-year performance contracts. Like other public schools, charters employ state-certified teachers and cannot discriminate in admissions. Unlike other public schools, charters must pass independent performance audits."
 +
* "Charters actually generate more money for public education by tapping millions in federal and charitable dollars available only to charters."
  
:Charters get results because they receive state funding only if families choose them. They receive local funding only if local school boards and voters approve.
+
In rebuttal to the arguments put forward by their opposition, supporters closed with this impassioned rhetoric:
  
'''CHARTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS HELP KIDS WITHOUT RAISING YOUR TAXES.'''
+
:"Progress"? Washington’s 30% dropout rate is higher than most and not getting better. Children trapped in failing schools need alternatives, now. Children slipping through the cracks need alternatives, now. R-55 doesn’t take money from public schools, it takes children out of failing schools. Failing schools waste taxpayers’ money. Dropouts waste taxpayers’ money. Approve R-55 and improve our public schools through more parental involvement, choices, innovation, accountability, independent performance audits, and less bureaucracy, without raising taxes.<ref name=guide/>
  
:Charter public schools don’t raise taxes. Charters actually generate more money for public education by tapping millions in federal and charitable dollars available only to charters.
+
===Campaign finance===
  
:Of course, the education bureaucracy doesn’t want to compete with charter public schools. But when public schools innovate, children win.
+
Supporters of R-55 spent $3,945,029 making their case to Washington voters.<ref>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/ballot.phtml?m=369 ''Follow the Money for R-55'']</ref>
  
:Please vote to help children. Approve charter public schools. Approve R-55.
+
The top 5 donors to "Approve Referendum 55" were:
  
'''REBUTTAL OF ARGUMENT AGAINST'''
+
* John Walton: $1,020,000
:“Progress”? Washington’s 30% dropout rate is higher than most and not getting better. Children trapped in failing schools need alternatives, now. Children slipping through the cracks need alternatives, now. R-55 doesn’t take money from public schools, it takes children out of failing schools. Failing schools waste taxpayers’ money. Dropouts waste taxpayers’ money. Approve R-55 and improve our public schools through more parental involvement, choices, innovation, accountability, independent performance audits, and less bureaucracy, without raising taxes.<ref>[http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/guide/measures.aspx Washington Secretary of State - Online Voters' Guide: Measures]</ref>
+
* Bill Gates: $1,000,000
 +
* Donald G. Fisher: $965,388
 +
* [[Eli Broad]]: $200,000
 +
* [[Reed Hastings]]: $190,255
  
 
==Opposition==  
 
==Opposition==  
'''PROTECT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND REJECT REFERENDUM 55'''
 
  
:By voting to Reject Referendum 55, you protect the progress we are making in our public schools. You will tell the Legislature, once and for all, you do not want to spend public money on expensive, risky propositions like charter schools that, in other states, have not performed as promised. Vote to Reject Referendum 55 and tell the legislature that you want quality public schools for every student.
+
===Opponents===
 +
[[file:eide_tracey.jpg|thumb|180px|State senator Tracey Eide, who encourage a "no" vote]]
 +
Opponents of R-55 as listed in the official Voter's Guide were:
  
:Washingtonians understand education. We know that to improve our schools we must reduce class sizes and put a well-qualified educator in every classroom. Instead of implementing the voter-approved initiatives to reduce class sizes and provide annual cost-of-living increases for teachers and school employees, the legislature passed a bill authorizing charter schools in Washington.
+
* Catherine Ahl, Education Chair, [[League of Women Voters|League of Women Voters of Washington]]
 +
* [[Tracey Eide]], [[Washington State Senate|State Senator]], Democrat, 30th District
 +
* Mary E. Bass, President, Seattle School Board
 +
* Idalia Apodaca, high school ESL teacher
 +
* Christie Perkins, parent, Washington State Special Education Coalition
 +
* Jim Kowalkowski, Superintendent, Pomeroy Schools; Director, Rural Education Center.
  
'''REJECT TAKING MONEY AWAY FROM OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS'''
+
===Arguments against===
  
:Charter schools will drain more than $100 million from public schools in the coming years and diminish our ability to continue improving all schools. Charter schools take money away from all students to benefit just a few.
+
Arguments made in the official Voter's Guide by opponents of public charter schools were:
  
'''REJECT SPENDING OUR TAX DOLLARS WITHOUT ACCOUNTABILITY'''
+
* If there are public charter schools, it will hurt the public school system.
 +
* The improvement Washington voters hope to see in the public schools won't happen.
 +
* "Charter schools will drain more than $100 million from public schools in the coming years and diminish our ability to continue improving all schools."
 +
* "Charter schools are run by private boards, not publicly-elected local school boards."
  
:Charter schools are run by private boards, not publicly-elected local school boards. This means that charter schools spend public money but are excused from being accountable to taxpayers.
+
In rebuttal to the reasons put forward by supporters of R-55, opponents said:
  
'''REJECT CHARTER SCHOOLS, AGAIN'''
+
:":All children in Washington deserve a quality education, but charter schools don’t deliver. That’s why Washington voters have rejected charter schools twice. The New York Times recently reported, 'Federal data show children in charter schools perform worse on math and reading tests than their counterparts in regular schools.' Washington voters already approved initiatives for smaller class sizes and a quality educator in every classroom. The State must fulfill this commitment first. Reject Referendum 55."<ref name=guide/>
  
:Charter school initiatives have been rejected by Washington voters twice in the past eight years. Join the thousands of teachers, school employees, parents, the Washington Education Association, the American Association of University Women, the Washington State Labor Council, the Washington Association of Churches, and many others by rejecting charter schools—again. Reject Referendum 55.
+
===Campaign finance===
  
'''REBUTTAL OF ARGUMENT FOR'''
+
"Protect Our Public Schools" spent $1,338,204 to defeat R-55.<ref name=no>[http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/committee.phtml?c=1233 Donors to "No on R-55"]</ref> 
:All children in Washington deserve a quality education, but charter schools don’t deliver. That’s why Washington voters have rejected charter schools twice.
+
  
:The New York Times recently reported, “Federal data show children in charter schools perform worse on math and reading tests than their counterparts in regular schools.” Washington voters already approved initiatives for smaller class sizes and a quality educator in every classroom. The State must fulfill this commitment first. Reject Referendum 55.<ref>[http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/guide/measures.aspx Washington Secretary of State - Online Voters' Guide: Measures]</ref>
+
The two largest donors to the campaign were:
 +
 
 +
* Washington Education Association: $654,856
 +
* [[National Education Association]]: $500,000<ref name=no/>
 +
 
 +
==Similar initiatives==
 +
 
 +
Before R-55 was defeated, Washington voters had previously defeated measures to allow school choice:
 +
 
 +
* [[Washington Charter Schools Act, Initiative 729 (2000)]]
 +
* [[Washington Charter Schools, Initiative 177 (1996)]]
 +
 
 +
==Path to the ballot==
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
{{submit a link}}
 +
* [[Education on the State of Washington ballot]]
 +
* [[Washington 2004 ballot measures]]
 +
* [[List of Washington ballot measures]]
 +
* [[2004 ballot measures]]
  
 
==External links==  
 
==External links==  
  
 
* [http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/guide/measures.aspx 2004 Online Voters' Guide: Measures]
 
* [http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/guide/measures.aspx 2004 Online Voters' Guide: Measures]
 +
* [http://www.ncsl.org/LegislaturesElections/ElectionsCampaigns/BallotMeasuresDatabase/tabid/16580/Default.aspx 2004 Washington Ballot Measures Details]
 
* [http://vote.wa.gov/Elections/Results/Measures.aspx?e=a3501711-c318-45f4-8a03-1d926ac839b7 Election results]
 
* [http://vote.wa.gov/Elections/Results/Measures.aspx?e=a3501711-c318-45f4-8a03-1d926ac839b7 Election results]
  
==References==  
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==References==
<references/>
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{{reflist}}
{{ndi}}
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 +
{{2004 ballot measures}}
 
{{washington}}
 
{{washington}}
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[[Category:Washington 2004 ballot measures]]
 
[[Category:Washington 2004 ballot measures]]
 
[[Category:Education, Washington]]
 
[[Category:Education, Washington]]
 
[[Category:Education, 2004]]
 
[[Category:Education, 2004]]
[[Category:School choice]]
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[[Category:School choice, Washington]]
[[Category:Veto referendum, Washington, 2004]]
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[[Category:School choice, 2004]]
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[[Category:Veto referendum, Washington]]
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[[Category:Veto referendum, 2004]]

Revision as of 12:40, 19 June 2012

Ballot measures
in Washington State
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Constitutional amendments
Initiatives to the People
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The Washington Charter School Authorization, Referendum 55 was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Washington as a veto referendum, where a vote of the people overturned a recently enacted law passed by the Washington State Legislature.

R-55, if the voters had approved it, would have upheld a law authorizing public charter schools. Since the law was rejected, public charter schools are not allowed in the state. The schools that would have been allowed would have had conditions on their operation including that they would have to be operated by qualified nonprofit corporations, under contracts with local education boards, and they would have been allocated certain public funds.

The law challenged by R-55 was called Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2295 (ESSHB 2295). It was passed in the 2004 session of the state legislature on its final passage: Senate: Yeas, 27; Nays, 22; Absent, 0; Excused, 0. House: Yeas, 51; Nays, 46; Absent, 0; Excused, 1. [1]

A "yes" vote was a vote to uphold ESSHB 2295, the public charter school law. A "no" vote was a vote to reject public charter schools.

R-55 had the distinction that Rosa Parks became involved, endorsing a "yes" vote.

Election results

Referendum 55, Charter Schools
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,572,20358.3%
Yes 1,122,964 41.7%

Estimated fiscal impact

The estimated fiscal impact of R-55 as estimated by the Washington Office of Financial Management was:

"Referendum 55 would authorize creation of charter public schools by local school districts or, through an appeals process, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction. State education spending would increase $14.0 million over five years, primarily the result of new students entering the public school system to attend charter schools. State funding for charter public schools would be provided in the same manner as other public schools. As students already enrolled in the public school system move to charter schools, student instructional and other costs would shift and associated state revenue would be reallocated. District-sponsored schools also would receive local revenue."

Support

Civil rights heroine Rosa Parks, who endorsed a "yes" vote on R-55

Supporters

Supporters of a "yes" vote on R-55, to uphold public charter schools, as listed in the official Voter's Guide included:

  • Dave Quall, Democrat, State Representative, teacher, Chair, House Education Committee
  • Stephen Johnson, Republican, State Senator, Chair, Senate Education Committee
  • David Shaw, past Pasco Superintendent and State Accountability Commission Chair
  • Dr. Sam Smith, former President, Washington State University
  • Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza
  • Rosa Parks, Mother of the Modern American Civil Rights Movement.

Arguments in favor

Arguments made in the official Voter's Guide by R-55's supporters included:

  • 30% of Washington public school students drop out.
  • More than 50% of African-American, Latino and Native-American children drop out.
  • Charter schools will help solve the drop-out problem, and other problems with Washington's public school system.
  • Charter schools, because they "reduce bureaucracy and empower teachers and principals to innovate", will help solve these problems.
  • To be accredited as a public charter school under this measure, "Qualified nonprofits run charter public schools under detailed, 5-year performance contracts. Like other public schools, charters employ state-certified teachers and cannot discriminate in admissions. Unlike other public schools, charters must pass independent performance audits."
  • "Charters actually generate more money for public education by tapping millions in federal and charitable dollars available only to charters."

In rebuttal to the arguments put forward by their opposition, supporters closed with this impassioned rhetoric:

"Progress"? Washington’s 30% dropout rate is higher than most and not getting better. Children trapped in failing schools need alternatives, now. Children slipping through the cracks need alternatives, now. R-55 doesn’t take money from public schools, it takes children out of failing schools. Failing schools waste taxpayers’ money. Dropouts waste taxpayers’ money. Approve R-55 and improve our public schools through more parental involvement, choices, innovation, accountability, independent performance audits, and less bureaucracy, without raising taxes.[1]

Campaign finance

Supporters of R-55 spent $3,945,029 making their case to Washington voters.[2]

The top 5 donors to "Approve Referendum 55" were:

  • John Walton: $1,020,000
  • Bill Gates: $1,000,000
  • Donald G. Fisher: $965,388
  • Eli Broad: $200,000
  • Reed Hastings: $190,255

Opposition

Opponents

State senator Tracey Eide, who encourage a "no" vote

Opponents of R-55 as listed in the official Voter's Guide were:

  • Catherine Ahl, Education Chair, League of Women Voters of Washington
  • Tracey Eide, State Senator, Democrat, 30th District
  • Mary E. Bass, President, Seattle School Board
  • Idalia Apodaca, high school ESL teacher
  • Christie Perkins, parent, Washington State Special Education Coalition
  • Jim Kowalkowski, Superintendent, Pomeroy Schools; Director, Rural Education Center.

Arguments against

Arguments made in the official Voter's Guide by opponents of public charter schools were:

  • If there are public charter schools, it will hurt the public school system.
  • The improvement Washington voters hope to see in the public schools won't happen.
  • "Charter schools will drain more than $100 million from public schools in the coming years and diminish our ability to continue improving all schools."
  • "Charter schools are run by private boards, not publicly-elected local school boards."

In rebuttal to the reasons put forward by supporters of R-55, opponents said:

":All children in Washington deserve a quality education, but charter schools don’t deliver. That’s why Washington voters have rejected charter schools twice. The New York Times recently reported, 'Federal data show children in charter schools perform worse on math and reading tests than their counterparts in regular schools.' Washington voters already approved initiatives for smaller class sizes and a quality educator in every classroom. The State must fulfill this commitment first. Reject Referendum 55."[1]

Campaign finance

"Protect Our Public Schools" spent $1,338,204 to defeat R-55.[3]

The two largest donors to the campaign were:

Similar initiatives

Before R-55 was defeated, Washington voters had previously defeated measures to allow school choice:

Path to the ballot

See also

BallotpediaAvatar bigger.png
Suggest a link

External links

References