by Liv Finne
Washington Policy Center
June 13, 2014
Policy Brief
In 2012, the people of Washington passed Initiative 1240, making Washington the 42nd state to lift its ban on charter schools. These independent, community-based public schools are tuition-free and open to all students. Washington law allows 40 charter schools to open over five years at an even rate of eight schools per year. As a result of this eight-school annual cap, when 22 community groups applied to open a charter school, fourteen were asked to wait. The eight applications that were approved will now allow for eight new schools to service 3,500 students and create 318 new jobs. The fourteen that were denied would serve a further 4,900 children. Raising or eliminating the eight-schools-a-year cap would reduce the number of waiting families and allow thousands of children who wish to attend a charter school to find one in their community.

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