The way your child looks at school may soon change. If Initiative 1240 passes, up to 40 charter schools could open in Washington.
The charter schools would be funded by the state, but would be run by non-profits outside the school districts. Charter schools would receive the same amount of money per student as other schools -- about $5,800 -- and they would have government oversight -- and performance reporting -- but would be exempt from certain laws and district policies.
On Election Day, two weeks from Tuesday, the way Washington students are educated could dramatically change. If approved, charter schools would be part of local school districts and students would be admitted through a lottery.
"So when you make an application, if you receive the charter school, then you get some money usually to come with that," Redinger explained.
Advocates for I-1240 say charter schools boost competition to be better in the public system. Competition that leads to reform, better teaching and ultimately better students.
"I think the opportunity for our children to have, just a more expansive academic experience, is a plus," parent Jessica Hieronymus said.
Hieronymus already has two kids in innovative programs with Spokane schools and supports I-1240.
"I think charter schools are one way that opportunity can be given to them," she explained.
The schools can also get federal funding and outside revenue unlike traditional public schools -- which some, like Spokane Education Association President Jenny Rose, say is unfair.
"There's really, truly, no evidence that it works," Rose said.
Rose added that charter schools takes away money from other public schools because of reduced enrollment.
"Less money, less resources for the district," she said.
She conceded that public schools do need work, but said it's an option the state and district simply can't afford.
"We know the state's not fully funding education. And we need to fix that first before we start talking about charter schools," she said.
I-1240 would also create a charter schools commission that would cost the state about $3 Million over five years. Dr. Redinger said they already have the ball rolling so Spokane Schools will be ready if it passes.