While the Initiative 1351 votes are still trickling in, it’s clear that what everyone thought was a slam dunk is looking more like a shot from mid-court.
From pre-election polling we know that the more voters learned about I-1351, the more concerns they had.
This fall voters heard from diverse groups—including the Children’s Alliance, Association of Washington School Principals, and every major editorial board across the state—all opposing I-1351.
Reasons for opposition included concerns about the price tag, the impact the initiative would have on other important state-supported social service programs, and the potential to preclude state’s ability to make investments in other proven education strategies, such as early learning and college readiness.
We were told by all the pundits that 1351 would win and win big. That doesn’t appear to be the case.
Win or lose, these margins aren’t indicative of the kind of voter mandate that is going to shake things up heading in the 2015 legislative session.
Instead, the results leave the door wide open for a conversation about the best next steps to create an ample, equitable, and stable plan to fund our public schools and ensure each and every student in our state with the opportunity for success.