Washington charter initiative STILL undecided — update

We STILL don’t know the outcome of  Washington’s initiative to allow charter schools to open in the state.

Pro charter forces spent more than $10 million to win approval from voters, who had rejected approving charter schools three times before. Bill Gates alone donated more than $3 million, Alice Walton of Wal-Mart fame gave more than $1.6 million, just to name a few of the billionaires who tried to get the initiative passed.

The latest numbers on the Web site of the secretary of state show that “yes” votes on Initiative 1240 have 50.84 percent of the vote — down from 51.1 percent of the vote a few days ago. The Washington secretary of state’s office said there are enough outstanding votes that have yet to be counted to leave the outcome in doubt. The vote totals on the website: 1,326,583 for the initiative and 1,282,690 against.

An initiative on the Georgia ballot passed that allows the state to create a commission that can license charter schools over the objections of local school boards. It was successful with a lot of outside money and, it turns out, a little help with a radio ad that featured President Obama. Read about that here.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.

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Valerie Strauss · November 8, 2012

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