I-I351 seems poised to pass and “add to the legislatures’s perennial migraine over education funding”

587293_Initiative_1351_3071_t770A recent poll shows Washington voters look ready to approve Initiative 1351, which would reduce class sizes.

The Elway Poll shows the class size reduction measure leading by nearly 3:1.

But the pollsters wrote “One thing that did appear to make a difference is the amount of attention voters were paying to this year’s election. The more attention voters have paid, the less likely they are to support the I-1351.”

The poll showed that 66 percent of people would definitely or probably vote to approve the measure, while 24 percent said they would definitely or probably say no, with 11 percent of voters remaining undecided.

The measure would reduce class sizes for all grades, kindergarten through 12th grade. The reductions would be phased in over a four-year period, prioritizing those schools with a higher rate of poor students. Class sizes for grades K-3 would shrink to 17 students; classroom sizes in higher grades would be limited to 25 students.

To pay for the class reduction, the Legislature would have to cut programs or raise taxes. The measure leaves it up to the Legislature to make those choices. If approved by voters, it would increase state expenditures by an estimated $4.7 billion through 2019, according to the Office of Fiscal Management.

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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