Backers of class size initiative declare victory - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Backers of class size initiative declare victory

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SEATTLE -

Backers of a measure limiting class sizes in Washington state are declaring victory.

Initiative 1351 would set lower class sizes at every grade level. Backers say it would make sure class sizes are part of basic education funding and are not overlooked when lawmakers find money to pay for education reform.

As of Saturday evening, I-1351 was passing by a 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent margin and leading by 18,000 votes. In a statement, I-1351 campaign manager Mary Howes said Washington voters "are sending a strong message to the Legislature about investing in our kids and making public education a priority."

Critics of the initiative said it was too expensive. State financial experts believe the measure would eventually cost the state about $2 billion a year to pay for thousands more teachers and other school staff.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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