State Legislature passes bill to keep public charter schools open; Final stop is the Governor’s desk

Tacoma, WA – Green Dot Public Schools applauds the legislature for their bipartisan leadership to honor the will of Washington state’s voters and passing a bill to keep public charter schools open.

We are counting on Governor Inslee to take action and sign this bill into law to keep Destiny Middle School in Tacoma and other public charter schools across the state open and accountable. A new public charter school law allows Green Dot students the right to continue an uninterrupted high-quality, tuition-free education that prepares students for college, leadership, and life with a passionate and dedicated staff.

Today’s success in the state legislature demonstrates the power of our students’ efforts and the strength of our parents’ voices. The progress made would not have been possible without our incredible families, students, and staff who volunteered countless hours to make their stories heard in Olympia. We were especially humbled last night when members of the House of Representatives invited our parent leaders Jessica Garcia and Ami Lara to join them on the floor for the bill debate and final passage, as an acknowledgement of their leadership on this issue.

Public charter schools were established to pilot and advance successful models that improve student outcomes across the public school system. Destiny Middle School continues the work of Green Dot’s commitment to and success in historically underserved areas in Los Angeles and Memphis. Here in Tacoma, our students have made significant gains in math and reading in the short time they have been with us. In fact, 80 percent of the students at Destiny Middle School in Tacoma started the school year reading up to five years below grade level, according to the nationally-normed Scholastic Reading Inventory. In just three months, more than a third of students have grown one to two grade levels in reading and met their annual growth goal, surpassing the national average, and in a semester a third of students met math grade level expectations. Destiny Middle School serves a student population that is 86% students of color, 83% students in the Free or Reduced Lunch program, and 22% students with special needs.