Charter school fans set to turn in initiative petitions

Supporters of an initiative to allow charter schools in Washington plan to deliver their petitions to state election officials at 9 a.m. Friday in Olympia.

That’s the word from the Secretary of State’s Office this morning.

Backers of Initiative 1240 must turn in valid signatures of 241,153 registered Washington voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

Backers said they exceeded that figure days ago and have been piling on more leading up to Friday which is the last day to turn in petitions. Not bad considering they just started circulating petitions last month.

It isn’t coming cheap. Seven people put up $1.775 million for the campaign led by $1 million from Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

This initiative seeks to allow up to 40 public schools in Washington to be run by nonprofits under terms of written agreements known as charters. Either local school boards or a new commission of political appointees will be responsible for approving charters and ensuring the nonprofits live up to the terms of them.

You can read the initiative here.

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