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Washington State Supreme Court Justices Hear Charter-School Case Arguments

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Proponents and critics of Washington's charter-school law made their case to the state's supreme court Tuesday.

According to an Associated Press story the court is being asked to decide if the money used to finance traditional public schools can be used to pay for charter schools. The justices also must determine if charter schools meet the state's constitutional definition for a common school—which is a traditional public school.

A coalition of parents and community and education groups, including the Washington Education Association, sued the state in 2013 to strike down Washington's charter-school law. Among the coalition's claims is that the charter school law approved by voters in 2012 diverts public school funding to private charter schools. A King County superior court judge ruled the charter-school law was unconstitutional in a Dec. 12 ruling.

However, Thomas Franta, the chief executive officer of the Washington State Charter Schools Association, said in a statement that the group remains confident that the state supreme court will rule in its favor. The association says one charter school is open this school year and eight more are enrolling students for the 2015-16 school year.

"Beyond simply having a strong law in place, there is growing momentum and demand across this state for public charter schools," Franta said.

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