The charter school initiative has passed by a narrow margin, according to the Associated Press. The vote stands at 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent. That's a difference of about 44,000 votes. Statewide, 269,000 ballots remain to be counted. The No on 1240 campaign Facebook page says campaign managers won't consider the race over until every vote is counted.
The initiative would allow up to 40 publicly-funded, privately-run charter schools in Washington over five years. School districts across the state opposed it. Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda said charters would compete with existing public schools for scant funding. But he said if charters come to Seattle, the district would work with them to make sure kids get educated.
Washington would be the 42nd state to allow charter schools. This is the fourth time the state's voters considered charters, and the first time voters appear to have approved them.