Taking the issue of public-school class sizes to voters

This November, Washington voters could have a chance to weigh in on the controversial topic of public-school class sizes.

Officials from “Class Size Counts” announced Monday they are gathering signatures for a 2014 statewide initiative to put the issue on the November ballot.

Depending on the district, the measure I-1351, would reduce class sizes between 16 and 30 percent.

“Washington ranks 47th in the nation in class size and the research clearly shows  one of the most effective ways to increase student performance is reduce class size,” said Sterling Clifford, spokesman for the group.

Clifford said the ballot’s language is based off recommendations from a 2009 report by the Quality Education Council, a group created by the Legislature.

The Washington State Supreme Court has told lawmakers they have until the end of this month to unveil a plan that meets the courts requirements to fully fund education.

Clifford said the group will likely pursue the ballot measure no matter what lawmakers do in light of the looming April 30th deadline stemming from the McCleary ruling.

“They are under a court order to come up with additional funding for education and we believe the priority on the additional funding would be to reduce class sizes,” Sterling  said.

More details to come later this week on what lawmakers are doing to prepare for the April 30th deadline .


Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or lauren.dake@columbian.com. Follow her on Twitter .

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