Rep. Paul Harris introduces legislation aimed at helping charter schools thrive

In an effort to improve success at Washington state charter schools, Rep. Paul Harris has introduced a bill that would enhance administration capabilities at these schools.

“We all learn differently,” said Harris, R-Vancouver, who testified during a public hearing in the House Committee on Education, on Thursday. “If we would've had a charter school that dealt with the arts, when I was young, I would've probably excelled better than I did at a normal school.”

House Bill 2853 would promote the effective and efficient administration of the Washington State Charter School Commission. The bill would allow the commission to hire an executive director, who may also hire employees, to help carry out the commission's duties.

The inspiration for this bill stems from a meeting last year in which committee members discussed problems with some of Washington's charter schools, two of which failed.

“Sometimes, in our lives, I think we're set up for failure and we're not able to completely operate the way that we should,” said Harris.

The purpose of the bill would be to help the charter school commission operate completely and more effectively, with the assistance of the executive director. It would also help ensure that the right people are in place to help charter schools perform better and be successful.

“We have many different pathways for students to learn,” added Harris. “This is just another pathway, but I think we need to look at it and make sure that we set it up properly.”

Ultimately, Harris hopes the bill will assist charter schools in becoming better equipped to teach students and help them be successful.

House Bill 2853 is scheduled for a vote in the House Committee on Education on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

The 2020 legislative session began on Jan. 13 and is scheduled to run for 60 consecutive days.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov