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SEATTLE -- The group promoting an initiative that would bring charter schools to Washington began running its first TV ad in the state on Friday.

The 30-second ad from Yes on 1240 asks voters to allow up to 40 of the independent public schools to be established over the next five years.

The ad explains what charter schools are and says they give teachers and principals more flexibility to meet the needs of students. It says charters have a proven track record of helping students who aren't succeeding in traditional public schools.

The Washington Public Disclosure Commission says the pro-charters group has raised more than $8 million for the initiative campaign. More than $3 million of that total has come from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who has also worked to promote charter schools through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Watch the ad:

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