SEATTLE - Green Dot Washington, a non-profit organization, plans to open a new charter school in Southeast Seattle along Rainier Avenue South. This would be the first charter school to open despite a new lawsuit claiming the funding for charter schools in the state is unconstitutional.
The new middle school would begin with 200 6th grade students next fall and eventually expand to 600 6th through 8th graders by 2020 according to a company spokeswoman. The school is the company's second in Washington state and would be supported by public funds.
But opponents behind a new lawsuit against the state say Green Dot should not open because funding for charter schools is unconstitutional in Washington.
"Our constitutional obligation is to all of our state's kids, not just a hand full of them," said Rich Wood, spokesman for the Washington Education Association which is one of several plaintiffs named in the lawsuit.
Green Dot says it's forging ahead.
"We are very confident in the new law, which was both passed with bipartisan support and is considered one of the best public charter laws in the country," said Bree Dusseault, Executive Director at Green Dot Washington. "We are as determined as ever to keep fighting for Washington’s families and the high-quality school options they deserve."
In April, a new law was passed and signed by Governor Jay Inslee that rescued the state’s charter schools. Charters are publicly funded, privately run schools and are legal in most states.
There are eight currently operating in Washington; three others plan to open next fall. Green Dot also has a charter school open in Tacoma.