Coalition of Education Groups in Washington State Files Ballot Measure to Create Modest Charter Schools Program

SEATTLE — A coalition of Washington education groups on Tuesday filed a citizen initiative asking voters to allow 40 public charter schools in the state over the next five years.

The coalition including the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children and Democrats for Education Reform has until July 6 to collect nearly 250,000 valid voter signatures.

A spokesman for the coalition said the groups would use both paid and volunteer signature collectors to meet the July deadline. But first they need to jump a few administrative hoops. It could be several weeks before they will be able to print petition sheets and circulate them. …

Washington is one of eight states without charter schools, according to the Center for Education Reform, an advocacy group that supports charters. The other states are Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia. …

“This initiative will finally bring Washington into the 21st century in terms of educational opportunities for public school students,” said State Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle, in a statement announcing the initiative.

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