With 49.5% of the vote, it’s too soon to tell if Ini­tia­tive 1351 will pass. If approved by vot­ers, the ini­tia­tive would low­er pub­lic school class sizes in grades kinder­garten through 12. Washington’s pupil-teacher ratio ranks 47th nation­al­ly, and both the state and nation­al teach­ers unions were the pri­ma­ry sup­port­ers of the campaign.

State Super­in­ten­dent Randy Dorn is also on board:

If it pass­es, I‑1351 will place those rec­om­men­da­tions into law. Reduc­ing class sizes is key to improv­ing stu­dent learn­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly with at-risk stu­dents. That, in turn, will improve grad­u­a­tion rates. When I‑1351 pass­es, the next step will be for the Leg­is­la­ture to fund those class-size levels.

Since there’s no fund­ing asso­ci­at­ed with the ini­tia­tive, it remains to be seen how pas­sage of I‑1351 would affect the leg­is­la­ture’s attempt to sat­is­fy the McCleary oblig­a­tion to ful­ly fund pub­lic edu­ca­tion. Decreas­ing class size is just one part of the McCleary court order to increase edu­ca­tion fund­ing, which also includes pro­vid­ing more mon­ey for trans­porta­tion, mate­ri­als and oper­a­tions, and salary increases.

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