(WSB file photo – future Summit Atlas site @ 35th/Roxbury)
“We are committed to opening Summit Atlas – our West Seattle school.”
That’s what charter-school operator Summit Public Schools‘ regional officer Jen Wickens told WSB when we checked in after news that Governor Inslee would not veto the bill that created a new public-funding source for charters to replace what they lost when the State Supreme Court ruled the original voter-approved plan was unconstitutional.
While the governor said he wouldn’t veto the charter-funding bill, he also said he wouldn’t sign it – the first time a bill has been allowed to become law that way in our state in more than 30 years, according to the Tacoma News-Tribune.
Summit opened two schools, in Seattle’s International District and in Tacoma, last fall. It originally planned to open Summit Atlas in fall of this year at the former Freedom Church site (35th/Roxbury) with one middle- and one high-school grade, eventually building to a full middle/high school campus. But amid the funding uncertainty, California-headquartered Summit announced in December that it would delay the West Seattle plan (first reported here in January 2015) until fall 2017. And Wickens confirms that Summit is “still working toward opening the school” on that timeline. The city continues to review its permit applications to remodel the former church (and before that, supermarket) building, purchased last summer by Washington Charter School Development for $4.75 million.
The bill, SB 6194, officially became law today; read the full text of the final version here. All three of West Seattle’s state legislators – 34th District State Sen. Sharon Nelson and State Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon – voted against it.