Washington State is due to have its first charter schools open later this fall starting in Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane, but if some local folks are successful, Yakima might follow with one of its own very soon.
"It's just nice to to be able to have options for people you know to select from in addition to just the current norm, regular public education," said Berta-Alicia Garza from the Academy of Education.
Yakima based Academy of Education is trying to break that norm. The non-profit is putting together a bid for the July 15th deadline to apply for a charter school in Yakima. A charter school has to have a unique niche in the community. Garza believes because of the high percentage of spanish speakers in the valley that a school where all teachers are bilingual is needed.
"That would be something that the community is wanting, i've asked a few people, i've asked lots...hundreds of people, that was one of the things they would like to see is you can get educated and at the same time be billingual," said Garza
Charter schools are independent, public, and tuition free. These schools would run off grant money and public tax dollars and in Yakima's case it could serve to billingual students needs. People think the diversity of options for parents could be a good thing.
"The hispanic families, for billingual and everything like that might be better so they get that extra help," said parent Janet Cavin
"Sometimes students that didn't have a higher level of English, comprehending the language and reading had lower reading skills they struggled more in school," said Yakima resident Analilia Martinez.
The Washington State Charter School Commission will meet in Yakima on October 9th to approve or deny any submissions.
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