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Election 2014 update: Initiative for smaller class sizes on pace for approval

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Statewide totals as of Monday afternoon

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King County totals

Only one item on Capitol Hill-area ballots has seen a change in fortunes since the first count on Election Night earlier this month. State voters appear to be on their way to approving I-1351, an initiative to reduce class sizes in Washington’s public schools.

While the tallies posted Monday afternoon show the vote nearly evenly split between Yes/No, the trend is a steadily improving result for the Yes camp — and election officials say that most of the ballots remaining to be counted are from counties where the initiative was performing well.

In King County, nearly 55% of voters were for the measure.

Backers of the initiative have declared victory. I-1351 would set maximum class sizes in kindergarten through third grade at 17 students in most classrooms. The limit would be set at 15 children in schools in low-income areas. Higher grades would have fewer than 25 students per class, or 22 in low-income schools. I-1351 is expected to require more than 25,000 new teachers and “non-teaching support staff” to implement — of course, not all of those hires are incremental to plans the state already had for lowering class sizes. The law could add a $4.7 billion burden on the state budget over the next four years, the Seattle Times worries, without calling for new taxes to pay for the plan.

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7 thoughts on “Election 2014 update: Initiative for smaller class sizes on pace for approval

  1. It’s unfortunate that this measure is passing. It is very controversial that reduced class size results in better achievement. And of course the measure is extremely expensive and is unfunded. Where is the state going to get this huge amount of money?

    • I dunno, maybe they could collect taxes on Boeing, Microsoft, etc. I don’t elect people to tell me the fucking weather report. I expect them to solve the problems. That’s their jobs, it’s what they signed up for.

      Have you ever been in a 2nd grade classroom with 28 kids in it? I have, it is nowhere near optimal conditions.

    • Well, my suggestion would be a progressive income tax. I supported this measure and hope that it will increase pressure on the legislature to find new revenue sources.

      Reducing class sizes is the single most effective school reform there is. It’s only “controversial” politically because unlike, say, teacher-bashing, it actually costs something.

  2. I voted against this measure.

    I think parents need to pay the extra money.
    People need to think twice about making babies and overcrowding the schools and the roads.
    I’m tired of paying for your children.

    • Let me know how that attitude works for you when you start receiving Social Security checks, medicare, and medical care in a nursing home. I don’t want to pay for your retirement, and I’m tired of paying for your Grandma’s retirement too. But this is what we decided to do with our capital in this society. We take care of each other, it’s what makes us human, David.

    • What a quintessentially selfish, self absorbed yuppie perspective. I’m glad this attitude is mostly the exception and not the norm for Seattle. It’s part of what makes it worth living here. I’ve been paying to educate other people’s kids my whole life–and been glad to do it. It’s part of giving back and being as fortunate as I have been to be born in this very privileged country.