Some people would say that the myth about charter schools is that they are public schools. Initiative 1240 called them “public charter schools,” despite two important differences.
First, the “flexibility” referred to by the two charter school principals’ guest column [“Dispelling the myths about charter schools,” Opinion, Dec. 6] is that the charter schools are allowed to ignore some of the rules and regulations that public schools have to follow. I would ask: If ignoring these rules and regulations is necessary in order to allow responsiveness to the needs of the students and community, then shouldn’t all public schools be allowed to ignore those rules and regulations that are supposedly holding them back?
Second, public school districts are answerable to the public, which supports them with its tax dollars through the election of school boards that are answerable to the voters. The school board makes the policy decisions, and its employees carry out those decisions. The connection between a charter school and the public is much less direct.
Mary Wallon, Seattle