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Charter-school ruling stands, except for one footnote

The Washington State Supreme Court denied several motions to reconsider its Sept. 4 decision that the state’s charter-school law is unconstitutional, which means the ruling is expected to become final on Dec. 14.

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Hugh Spitzer, who teaches state constitutional law at the University of Washington, said it’s difficult to tell what the court’s intentions are in removing the footnote, but he sees at least two possibilities.

The court may simply have agreed with Ferguson that it could lead to unintended consequences and wasn’t necessary to invalidate the voter-approved law. But there’s another possibility, which may give charter supporters a glimmer of hope: That the Legislature could fund something that retains some of the independence of a charter school but within a school system, rather than privately operated by a nonprofit.