1351 - the Little Engine That Could?

Update 8:25 am

The Times is whining that Governor Inslee didn't "lead" by revealing his own vote against 1351.

As governor, he should have expressed his concerns with the initiative and let voters know where he stood so they could follow his example. Now, the initiative might require a recount and, if it does pass, it could suck up lawmakers’ time and resources from other matters, and it might not ever be fully implemented.
Inslee might have wanted to let voters make up their own minds, but that’s no excuse for sitting back and not doing what voters expect him to do: lead.
Since when is ANYONE supposed to reveal their vote (even a Governor)?  I have to wonder if maybe he does support it but worried about the money so he voted no.  Whatever the reason, it's his vote.

Next big ballot drop is 4:30 pm.

Update 8:05 pm
Yes continues upward climb over 4500 votes up with more votes to count.

Update 7:40 pm
Yes takes the lead...with about 125 votes.  However, King County is to drop at 8 pm.  This could be very interesting.

Update 6:40 pm
There are now less than 2,000 votes separating No from Yes with no King County votes yet counted.

I expect the 8 pm drop will likely kick this over to the Yes side.

And all over this state, legislators are really starting to sweat.

end of update
 Update: 4:57 pm

Yes - 49.8%
No -  50.2%

This doesn't even count King County ballots whose number has not changed.

There are still over 465K ballots statewide to be counted.

Choo choo.

end of update

The ballots are pouring in because now there are MORE than 500,000 to be counted (last night it was about 500K, now it is 504,693) including an uptick in King County from 130K to nearly 143K.  This is important because 1351 is passing more comfortably in King County.

No -  50.27%
Yes - 49.73%

Just about a half-percent difference.

No -  728,730
Yes - 721,004


Anonymous said…
How is the state going to fund McCleary and 1351? That will be many billions that the state does not have and taxes will skyrocket.
Mom of 2
Anonymous said…
Maybe we can finally have a state income tax, like most other states, and fund the services people need and deserve! - NP
Charlie Mas said…
@Mom of 2 - Those are questions that our state legislators are supposed to answer. They wanted the job. They campaigned for the job. Now they got the job and they have to do the job.
Patrick said…
NP, that's what I would like. But realistically, the state's voters wouldn't pass one when it was on the ballot, the Democrats in the last session wouldn't even consider it, so the Republican senate in the next session certainly won't even think about doing that.
Anonymous said…
I like the principle behind 1351, but it can't become a reality unless there is more school capacity (and state funding to build more capacity).

I hope that, if it is approved, it does not become a justification for high school in shifts.

- North-end Mom
Okay, there are a couple of things to consider.

One,1351 is NOT just about more teachers. Maybe some of you don't remember how many counselors, nurses and librarians were cut from districts because of the recession.

1351 would put some of those back. Additionally, it would add them to those who need them.

It is about relationships with kids and it's not just in the classroom. It's not some number of kids in a class - it's about the number of adults in the building creating those relationships.

Also, class size IS part of fully funding education so I suspect that it is not going to cost nearly as much as opponents say it will.

Lastly, I believe this double whammy will take the bull's eye of social/health services which some in the Legislature had hoped to pit against public education.

NO one should let that happen. We are not going to fight against those who need those services.

It is time for the Legislature to find quit trying to find spending crumbs.

They need to roll back on tax breaks to big companies.

They need to consider a tax on the highest earners.

They need to - gasp! - consider an income tax like most other states. The sky will not fall.

But if the Legislature pushes back and does NOT fulfill McCleary, we are going to see a battle unlike any other and I believe, in the end, the Supreme Court will force the issue.

Time to stop arguing, Legislature.

Time to get to work.
Anonymous said…
1351 will be left unfunded like the last time we went through this in 2000.

Hooray for unfunded mandates!

--NE Parent
Anonymous said…
I am afraid what NE parent says is true, but it am still holding out hope that the legislature will take this directive from the people and do something with it. A republican legislature makes me incredibly nervous for our state on other issues I care about, but it is also true that sometimes republicans are willing to spend on education. Sometimes. It could happen. And that would be great. All schools need librarians and counselors, and we need many more student facing people in these gigantic schools we have created.

I don't think the Legislature could ignore it (not at the start). They didn't with 728.

I think they have to pay something out on it for a couple of years before they say no more.

Otherwise, why would they be so nervous?
Anonymous said…
Mom of 2--

HB 2261 and 2776 defined education many years ago, and already include reduced class size. I'm doesn't' have the the same ratios as what the QEB and the prototypical school model state, but actually funding McCleary MEANS funding lower class sizes. The narrative has been that it is an either/or, and that's not really true. What it does is forces the legislatures hand to implement and FUND the laws that already exist. And it reiterates that class sizes are to be prioritized over other education initiatives, effectively directing more money into the classroom.

And, you ask, where is all this money going to come from?

We, the Washington state PTA (the largest child advocacy organization in the state) recently voted as the #1 issue for the next two years...


"...fulfill the promise of amply funding basic education as defined by the legislature in HB 2261 and 2776.

Legislation and policies should not divest funding for health and human services, early learning or higher education programs, nor should it simply redistribute existing education funding sources. After years of cuts that have diminished opportunities for kids, we need a solution that addresses Washington State’s outdated and inequitable tax system. We need new revenue as part of the solution to our education funding shortfalls. We recommend that:

 Raise significant revenue. We need billions more in education funding and that simply can’t be done with budget cuts or gimmicks.

 Are progressive and equitable. Washington has one of the most regressive tax structures in the
country. We need to reform our system so that everyone contributes their fair share."

What does that really mean? It means they need to look at the 640 tax preferences that have been piled on over the last 60 years, with most of them since the 80's. Those equal $30 billion a year.

And they need to look at a CORPORATE income tax, because unlike most other states, we don't have one.

While less regressive than other taxes, the income tax is also not the only answer. In actuality the solution is to simply have corporations and the top 0.1% (not the 1%, but the wealthier than god who literally own more than 1/2 of our countries wealth) pay the same rate in taxes that they did a few decades ago.

The movie Inequality for All is awesome at explaining that over the past 10+ years our entire tax structure has increased taxes on the poor and middle class, DRAMATICALLY while growing the wealth of the top .1% exponentially.

And for some information and data for revenue ideas that ARE progressive and equitable:



Longhouse said…
I hope this passes, but I doubt it will mean much even if it does. The legislature will just ignore it as they have past class-size and teacher pay initiatives.
I,too, felt quite betrayed by the last class size initiative but NO, it was not ignored from the get go. Learn your history.

Eden is right - class size IS embedded in McCleary and you can bet legislators will start saying that so as to NOT pay out as much as if they would have if they treat 1351 and McCleary separately.
Anonymous said…
Here is another document that talks about where the funding can come from:


It should NOT come from increased property taxes or increased sales taxes, because the disproportionately hurt the poor and middle class.

We are one of only 4 states with you corporate income tax:


Anonymous said…
sorry for the typos

Should have said "withOUT corporate income tax"

Eric B said…
Up to about 8600 vote lead now. I believe the Legislature can overturn an initiative with a 2/3 vote in both chambers. However, if legislators vote to turn down class sizes, they're going to face wrath of the voters next election. If it's passing 54-46 in King County, it must be 65%+ in Seattle.

Democrats, particularly in the Senate, have nothing to gain by voting to overturn 1351.
Eric, first some in the Legislature sass the Supreme Court.

And if 1351 passes, they consider trying to overturn it?

Good luck with that.

I note that the Times has a big whine (opinion) on 1351 - why didn't Governor Inslee TELL voters he was voting no? Why wasn't he a leader in helping voters pick?

Very funny (in a desperate sort of way).
Eric B said…
Yeah, I also noticed that the Times had a big splash headline about more Republicans winning seats in the state House, but the news that 1351 is now leading was buried deep in low-cal news snippets. I wonder if they'll take back all the stuff they said about how 1351's failure meant that WEA didn't have any clout anymore?
Anonymous said…
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