Teachers United, a two-year-old organization of about 250 teachers, announced Friday that it supports bringing charter schools to Washington state.
In a prepared release, Chris Eide, the group’s executive director, said the decision to support Initiative 1240 was based largely on research done by a committee of 17 teachers.
The group said its committee members were originally split on whether to support the ballot measure, but after studying the issues and visiting charter schools in other states, they decided that charters would benefit Washington state. The group also polled its membership, and said 77 percent support the initiative.
Despite that support, the group has concerns about how the initiative would play out in this state. If the initiative passes, they said they hope, among other things, that the state would give priority to schools that serve at-risk students, that charter schools would have teachers with a mix of seniority, that charter schools and school districts would cooperate, and that charter schools would provide information about their attrition rates, graduation rates, teacher turnover and more.
Teachers United, which has received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said its members belong to teachers unions. It works to involve teachers in education policy debates.