Initiative 1240 is a ballot measure that will appear on the November 2012 Washington statewide ballot. This measure will allow up to 40 public charter schools to be authorized in our state over a five-year period, with strict oversight and accountability to be sure they are meeting high performance standards. These schools will be subject to annual performance reviews and an evaluation at the end of five years to determine whether additional public charter schools should be allowed.
Charter schools are independently-managed public schools operated by approved nonprofit organizations. They are free, and open to all students, and receive funding based on student enrollment just like traditional public schools do. Public charter schools are overseen by a state commission or by a local school board with strict accountability and performance requirements. They’re subject to the same academic standards as traditional public schools, and their teachers have to meet the same certification requirements as teachers in other public schools. However, charter schools are free from many other regulations so they have more flexibility to set curriculum and budgets, hire and fire teachers and staff, and offer more customized learning experiences for students. This allows the schools to offer the students the knowledge they need to get a good start in life. They can teach core subjects as well as other often overlook subjects such as personal finances.
The full text of the (39) page document can be downloaded here from the Washington Secretary of State Website