Initiative 1240 on the ballot this year in Washington would authorize the creation of up to 40 public charter schools over the next five years.

The schools would be operated by nonprofit groups and open to all students, with a lottery conducted if too many students want to attend.

Charter schools would be required to hire certified staff, but they would operate with more freedom from state education rules.

Supporters note that 41 other states already have charters. Opponents, including the teacher's union, say charter schools would drain resources from public schools.

What do the two men running for governor think about I-1240?

Republican Rob McKenna: All the other big states. All the states with major metropolitan areas like we have, have allowed charter schools into the mix. And I think they ought to be allowed into the mix in our state as well. They are not a panacea. they are not a silver bullet. But they should be part of the mix.

Democrat Jay Inslee: I really appreciate people driving the force of innovation but the research is clear that only one out of five succeed and two fail if we don't have public accountability. We need public accountability in our schools. I'll be voting no.

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