Supporters of charter schools declare victory despite uncounted ballots


SEATTLE - As of Saturday, over 2.6 million votes have been counted, but supporters of public charter schools, Initiative 1240, are declaring a victory.


About 400,000 ballots still need to be counted, but I-1240 is leading with 51 percent of the votes.


"This is a clear victory for Washington students and parents, and for public education in our state," said Chris Korsmo, CEO of the League of Education Voters, a founding member of the Washington Coalition for Public Charter Schools. "Washington now joins 41 other states across the country in offering the option of public charter schools for parents and students."


More than 41,000 votes are separating the "yes" votes from "no," and opponents of I-1240 said Saturday evening that they will not concede until every vote has been counted.


Charter schools are independently-managed public institutions operated by approved nonprofit organizations and overseen by a local school board or state commission with strict accountability and performance requirements.