The measure 1240 is a Washington state political issue that I wish to discuss in this paper. The paper will examine the views of the citizens who are either support the policy, those who do not support the policy, as well as my personal opinion on the policy. Similar laws have been put to the ballot three times previously and in all three times they have failed to pass. It is true, however, that if you try something several times, you might ultimately achieve your goal. The people who had their sights in achieving their goal of passing this law tried it for a fourth time and this time renamed it the I-1240. This last time it received the needed majority vote of 51% of the total votes cast.
Those against the policy are of the opinion that the passing of this law will see the rules of the education sector change. There will be close to forty charter schools fully funded by the government without the being charged in any way, running, in essence, like public schools. The government will pay for the costs of the schools with the taxpayers’ money. This is one of the main things I am personally against. This law will oppress the current public school systems. We already have about 2,300 schools that are underfunded. Why would we want 2,340 schools? “It does not make any sense," says Pam Kruse, a sixth-grade teacher in the Franklin Pierce School District who is also the president of her local union (Charting a new course, 2012) ().
The ones introducing this law are suggesting that it will help diversify the schooling system by making private schools accessible to the people who are currently in public schools (Yes on 1240, 2012) (). This idea is good, but how it is implemented is what bothers me. While the intention is to avail the education that is seen to be superior to the less advantaged in the society, it is the owners of the charter schools that are really going to benefit from the said venture (Charting a new course, 2012) ().
There are just a handful of people behind this legislation. This is clear from the fact that not more than twenty people bank rolled the campaign that aimed at popularizing this law so that it would be legalized. This law was marketed as a means of improving management of the schooling system, which was touted as a method to propel the schooling system to greater heights. The charter schools are supposed to be managed by nonprofit organizations while being overseen by the government. The government would do this by the use of local officials who would be the government representatives (Charting a new course, 2012) (). The sympathizers of this law state that it is of the utmost importance to them that the students receive the best quality education that the government can provide. To them the best way to do this is to introduce a third party, the management, in order to streamline the education system (Charting a new course, 2012).
On November 6, 2012, the law was adopted. To me, this is a scheme where a few rich people with the money and power who wanted control over the school system found a way to control it. These wealthy individuals wanted to have the system working to benefit them and not have to pay for the costs that are incurred. To do this effectively, the involvement of the parent teacher associations is not required. This is according to people who did not support the passing of this law. Rather, it is just a way to ensure that those who are controlling the system will now be without opposition from the very people who passed the law. To anybody who can see the bigger picture, it is obvious that the schooling system has now become a corporation of some sorts (Sound public policy, 2012) (will-not-raise-your-taxes).
This may sound like a brilliant idea, but there is more to it than meets the eye. To many parents and teachers, the belief exists that the use of charter schools will improve the education system in the state. This is because it has been proven repeatedly that in other states where they have already approved the use of charter schools. The overall performance of these schools compared to public schools is positive. The average student in a charter school performs better than one in a public school at an average of 17% when all assessment levels are measured. This is according to a survey carried out by Harvard University. It is such information that is enticing the average parent to endorse such a law. The elite in society, including Washington’s own Bill Gates, have openly funded this law in order to influence the education system in a way that they think will be for greater good. The statistics show improvement when a charter style of education is adopted. However, the main question is whether the bigger picture is showing the same results (Sound public policy, 2012)( will-not-raise-your-taxes).
These basic issues really need to be ironed out in order to ensure that the entire process is clear. When employing the charter schooling system, the aim of the school will shift to producing high performing students who may not be necessarily well prepared to tackle the issues that are in the real world. They will be high performers in class, but their personal issues may not be handled in as highly effective manner as they would be in the public school system, where there are resources such as alternative placements and counseling services that are not available in most charter schools. This will have ultimately turned the school system into a production factory for high academically performing students. One of the key things that the supporters of the charter schooling system tend to bring to the table is that they know that the system can function well, and fit into the current system despite the fact that the I-1240 does not fund itself. They say that with the experience that they have in the education sector, the system will only need to be supported in the initial phases of starting it up and later when it holds ground it will be able to grow exponentially in later years. (Yes on 1240) ().
I say that the bigger picture will be that of misery and want on the side of the common citizen who takes his or her child to such a school. It is rather obvious that with the privatizing of one aspect of the public school system, the charter school, the results will be the restructuring of the entire school system. This is the business logic that will be applied when a new management structure that is results-oriented is introduced to the school system (Sound public policy, 2012) (will-not-raise-your-taxes). When the government runs the schooling system, the needs of the students are what really matters. These needs include increased interpersonal communication between the teacher and the tutors as well as reduced crowding in classrooms.
I tend to differ with the observation that the supporters of this system. The fact that the initial baby steps are being made with the help from the government is enough to scream some warning signs to the public. Again, the second part of the eventual doom is that people who have no clue about the origin of the funding now manage the system; they have no liability attached to any form of loss that would be made by the system. These people are being hired to spend money. This is just an obvious self-explanatory situation. There is obviously no way with which these managers would be responsible with taxpayers’ money unless it were their own money.Generally, what parents want are results, and that is why parents, and the public at large, passed this bill into law. The lack of results has caused most parents to despair. Many parents cannot afford to move to a school district that they prefer and feel that their present district is putting their children into a situation that is not in their best interest or helping them to reach their academic potential. This is just my opinion but look at it this way; the Washington Commission for the Charter System is full of politically appointed people with only one member representing the parents. This generally means that the money will be spent to satisfy a political appetite. This in turn does not have the needs of the students in mind. In the initial phases of implementing the system, results are bound to be good, but as time wears on, the spending will become more and more politically motivated. An increasing amount of the commissions’ members will be appointed to fill a political void. When you politicize the education system, it will be the beginning of its downfall. All these are projections that are my own opinion, but the mere fact that they are possible is scary. Our children are the fate of our society. When we do not safeguard their best interests while we are looking out for our own, then the future of this country is in deep trouble.
Sound public policy and market-based solutions. (2012). Washington Policy Center. Retrieved
Charting a new course. (15 Nov. 2012). The News Tribune. Retrieved from
Yes on 1240. (2012). Yes on 1240: Washington Coalition for Public Charter Schools. Retrieved