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Might be a record: Sponsors of charter schools initiative say they have enough signatures

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on July 3, 2012 at 10:13 am with No Comments »
July 3, 2012 11:48 am

With the help of big donations from a handful of backers, sponsors of Initiative 1240 which would create charter schools in Washington have made an appointment to turn in signatures at Friday’s deadline.

Brian Zylstra, a spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, said backers have said they will turn in signatures at 9 a.m. Stand for Children director Shannon Campion told the Seattle Times the group has more than enough voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. Initiatives to the people must collect signatures of 241,153 voters and turn them in by 5 p.m. Friday.

That would be one of the fastest signature-gathering campaigns in state history. Backers didn’t file until May 22 and didn’t get an approved ballot title from the Thurston County Superior Court until June 15. The paid signature gathering effort was helped by big contributions from Bill Gates ($1 million), Nick Hanauer, ($200,000), Katherine Binder ($200,000) and Mike and Jackie Bezos ($450,000).

The campaign has raised $2.26 million from 11 donors.

Here is a description of the measure based on the ballot title and language approved by the court.

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