A spokesman for Rocketship Education, which runs some of the top performing elementary schools in California’s low-income areas, says the group would love to expand to Washington state.
However, the process to start a new school takes time. So even if Washington voters decide to allow as many as 40 public charter schools to open during the next five years, the first Rocketship schools probably couldn’t open in the state until 2016 or 2017, after a thorough process, including approval by Washington authorities.
Initiative 1240 would allow the independent public schools to be established in Washington state for the first time. Voters have rejected the idea three other times, in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Under the terms of the initiative, any nonprofit organization could start a charter school in Washington if its plan is approved by either a new statewide commission or a local school board that has been authorized by the state school board to approve charter schools.
Other charter organizations keeping a close eye on Washington’s election is Los Angeles-based Green Dot Public Schools, and Aspire Public Schools, one of the largest charter management organizations with more than 30 schools and 12,000 students served. (AP)