Charter Schools Ruled Unconstitutional

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A King County Superior Court Judge has found that provisions of the state's voter-approved charter school law violate the state constitution, but proponents said the ruling will not affect the implementation of the schools.   

The first schools are scheduled to open in fall 2014.   

Lisa Macfarlane of the Washington State Charter Schools Association said things will proceed as planned. Ultimately, questions of the constitutionality of the alternative schools will likely be answered by the state Supreme Court.   

King County Judge Jean Rietschel found in a ruling issued Thursday that a charter school can't be defined as a "common school" because it's not under the control of voters in a school district. Under the Washington Constitution, schools have to be under the control of voters in their districts to be considered part of the state system and obtain state construction funding.