Sequim board to mull charter schools at meeting today

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — The Sequim School Board will talk about public charter schools at a workshop tonight.

It will discuss what it means to be an authorizer of charter schools at the workshop at 6 p.m. at district offices at 503 N. Sequim Ave.

A regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m. at the same place.

Under Initiative 1240, which voters approved in November 2012, as many as 40 charter schools can be authorized statewide: up to eight new schools per year for five years.

Charter schools are independent public schools funded by the state and operated by a panel of parents and teachers.

The schools may be authorized under a school district — and therefore must be located within the boundaries of that district — or they may be authorized as corporate schools and operate anywhere in the state, said Brian Lewis, business manager for the Sequim School District.

Two school districts on the North Olympic Peninsula — Sequim and Port Townsend — submitted letters of intent in early April to become charter school authorizers.

Officials in both district said at the time that the letters didn't mean they would actually file applications to authorize charter schools by the July 1 deadline.

The letters were place-holders to allow them to consider the ramifications.

Sequim Superintendent Kelly Shea will tell the School Board today what he has learned about the legislation and advantages and disadvantages to the district.

He may make a recommendation as to whether the district should maintain or drop its application, Lewis said.

There have been two groups in the Sequim area that have expressed interest in opening a charter school, but neither has stepped forward publicly to declare official intentions, he said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 07. 2013 6:05PM
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