by Bree Dusseault
Executive Director, Green Dot Public Schools Washington
It is with a full heart and gratitude that we are celebrating our students, families and supporters hard work and dedication that helped lead the way to the new public charter school law in Washington state.
Last week Governor Inslee announced he would let the public charter school bill that was passed by the Washington state House and Senate go into law on April 2. The new law ensures that Destiny Charter Middle School will continue to serve its diverse student population of 86 percent students of color, 83 percent students in the Free or Reduced-price Lunch program and 22 percent special needs students with a free education that prepares them for college, leadership and life.
The success in the state legislature demonstrates the power of our students’ efforts and the strength of our parents’ voices. From Josh telling his story on how he found a second family at Destiny to Raffael Slaughter Sr. and Jessica Garcia sharing their stories on why a public charter school was the best choice for their child’s education, the new law would not have been possible without our incredible families, students, and staff who volunteered countless hours to make their stories heard.
Thank you also to the lawmakers who courageously stood up for our students. You have shown them how important it is to fight for their education and stand up for issues they believe in.
From day one our commitment has been to our students and families who have supported Green Dot and the right for families to chose where to send their kids to school.
The new law means Destiny Charter Middle School in Tacoma will be re-instated as a public charter school and move forward on its plans to offer a full 6th and 7th grade program. Our focus is operating a great school, hiring a great staff for next year and recruiting students for 6th and 7th grades.
We will also move forward with our plans to open a middle school in South Seattle. We will use the success of Destiny to build the foundation for the new Seattle school that will help students succeed in college and life.
We are also committed to the fight for equitable and stable funding for our public schools. Just as our students, families and staff fought for our schools to stay open, Green Dot will make our voices heard and let lawmakers know they must take additional action now to fully fund Washington state’s public schools and properly address the McCleary lawsuit.
You can join us on our mission to transform public education so all students graduate prepared for college, leadership, and life. Families can find more information on enrolling their student here and teachers can find our open opportunities here.
At Green Dot we look forward to a long history in Washington state of making sure students and families have a choice in public education. This is just the start of working together in partnership to help our students succeed.