Saturday afternoon the Initiative 1240 campaign announced that voters have approved the charter school measure. Opponents refuse to concede until every vote is counted, but this morning the Secretary of State’s website shows that with 91% of the vote counted, Yes votes exceed No votes by 44,193, gaining over the numbers reported on Saturday.
Parents and those of us who care about public education have reason to celebrate. Washington will become the 42nd state in the country to allow charter public schools.
This is the result of the hard work of a broad coalition of people from both political parties, and of many independent people with no party affiliation. This broad coalition wants to help children trapped in failing urban public schools.
Now begins the hard work of making charter schools a reality. Although most of Washington’s 295 school districts will be unaffected, Initiative 1240 brings new hope to parents in communities underserved by existing inner-city schools. Charter schools are likely to open in places like Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Everett, Kent, Yakima, Tri-Cities and Bellingham.
No matter where they open, charter schools will give parents a way to provide a bright future for children eager to learn.