Tomorrow is election day and I am quite interested to see how things are going to work out. I am always interested in election results, but this year I am heavily invested in our local initiative for charter schools -- initiative 1240. My interest is not personal in that my kids will be out of school by the time the first charter school goes into operation. However I am working hard to pass I-1240 because I think it is vital that we figure out how to do a better job educating people in our state. I have learned some interesting things as I have worked to support I-1240.
- The Importance of Education: I have been amazed at how many people I talk to are not interested in I-1240 because they don't have school age kids, or their kids already go to a great school. I fear I never was all that convincing when trying to share my enthusiasm for creating a more competitive Washington State. I wish I had figured out a better way to explain why I think they are connected.
- Philanthropy is Misunderstood: Opponents have worked to condemn the initiative because it has been supported by rich white guys like the co-founders of Microsoft, and other famous techies. The idea that these guys actually want to improve our state is hard to accept I guess. Charter schools mostly serve the people with very few educational options. The rich philanthropists are already among the 25% of parents in our area that send their kids to private schools. They will not directly benefit from this initiative.
- Catching Up or Blazing a Trail: Going into this I thought it would be pretty easy to convince people to vote for the initiative because 41 other states already had charter schools and there are many incredible success stories. I have been surprised to learn that our voters have no problem blazing a trail on the legalization of marajuana which currently leads 53-44 in the polls. The approval numbers for charter schools are about the same.
All together I am delighted that the numbers look good for Initiative 1240 and I am greatful to all of you that are going to make sure to vote for the future of our State of Washington.