Public charter schools present a great opportunity to improve student outcomes and close the historic achievement gaps for the communities in Washington that need it most.
But the opportunity comes with a financial challenge.
Public charter schools will receive approximately $2800 less for each student than neighboring traditional schools.
In August 2015, Green Dot Public Schools will open Destiny Middle School in Tacoma with approximately $560,000 less than neighboring traditional schools to serve 200 6th grade students in greater need of academic support and services.
In August 2016, GDPS will open a secondary school (grades 6-12) in Seattle, facing similar funding deficits.
By 2018, the outcomes for each established charter school will be held up as proof points in determining the future of school choice in Washington. Success is the only option, and the runway is short.
The early success of Destiny Middle School will directly inform the success of future schools scheduled for Tacoma and Seattle, and the long term sustainability of public charter schools across the state.
Getting it right from the start is the mandate.
"We are opening public schools that prioritize academically under-served students, and yet we do not receive the same funding as traditional public schools. The implicit expectation to do more with less doesn't reflect the aspirations we have for Washington students. Our families and children are counting on us all to get public education right in Washington."
Melannie Denise Cunningham
Board Member, Green Dot Public Schools Washington State