Mercer Island School Board members Pat Braman and Dave Myerson joined with parents, education leaders and educators from across Washington state to oppose charter schools — but it's unclear how much influence the letter will have, even with other members of the school board.
According to MyNorthwest.com, the letter — signed by representatives from 260 of the state's 295 school districts — represents a last ditch effort to sway voters as polls show the public favoring the intiative and the Nov. 6 election fast approaching.
The letter expresses opposition to Initiative 1240, which would allow up to 40 charter schools to be established in the state. Charter schools are not currently allowed under state law.
The letter states that I-1240 would take millions from public schools to pay for privately-run charter schools, that it ignores 99 percent of the state's students, and that it ignores a solution for all children.
Local parents Tori Lindquist and Jackie Brown also signed the letter, which is attached as aPDF attachment to this article (click to enlarge).
More local support seems to be on backing the Yes on I-1240 campaign. Mercer Island couple Jackie and Mike Bezos, parents of Amazon.com CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, gave $1 million and are frequently listed on campagin ads on television. State Senator Steve Litzow, PTA and Stand for Children board member Judy Chase, former Elmhurst, IL School Board of Education member Jim Faulstich, and music teacher Connie Wible, business owner Carol Gullstad, and Frederick H. Beck also count themselves as supporters, according to the Yes on I-1240 website.
(Ed. Note: This story was updated to add information to describe local supporters of the Yes on I-1240 campaign.)