Building Momentum for the Washington State Charter Schools Association
Following the narrow passage of charter schools in a bitterly contested statewide initiative in Washington State, the environment was scorched. Lawsuits were filed. Foundations’ motives were questioned. Elected officials remained silent. Opponents – including powerful and well-funded groups intent on defending the status-quo – appealed to a progressive market that ‘privatization’ was coming. Larson Communications was hired to publicly fight the lawsuit.
Larson developed messages that appealed to both Washingtonians’ heads and hearts, designed to build trust that charters would have positive impact on the state’s educational system. At the core of the campaign was home-grown local educators seeking to start charter schools.
We’re still making a rational case – the public school system isn’t working for everyone, that charter schools work, that nationally recognized groups are coming to the state, and that high quality matters. We’re building momentum through fact-based communication while continuing to build trust. And so far, even in a resistant Seattle, opposition is marginalized.
Support for charter schools continues to grow in Washington as top newspapers –Tacoma Tribune, Seattle Times and Spokesman Review – cover the work of educational leaders and write positive editorials.
- "Educators aim to bring area charter schools," Tacoma Tribune.
- "Three women and a charter schools movement," Seattle Times.
- "Editorial: Pride Prep has promise as pioneer for charters," Spokane Spokesman Review.