School leaders, educators and parents from 260 of Washington's 295 school districts have signed a letter opposing I-1240, warning that charter schools would siphon off millions of dollars from other publicly funded schools with no guarantee they'd be any better.

School leaders, educators and parents from 260 of Washington’s 295 school districts have signed a letter opposing I-1240, warning that charter schools would divert millions of dollars from existing public schools with no guarantee they’d be better.

The anti-charter campaign released the letter at a news conference in downtown Seattle Thursday after a speech by Seattle Superintendent José Banda.

Banda and the Seattle School Board say charters would hurt their efforts to improve.

Board President Michael DeBell said the state shouldn’t allow charters until it fully funds its existing schools, as required by a recent state Supreme Court decision.

Banda urged charter supporters to “find solutions within the public-school system instead of reaching for a quick fix that might not serve the needs of our students.”

Charter supporters agree that Washington’s schools need more money, but they say charters can help many students who aren’t well served in existing schools.

Linda Shaw