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Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee Seeks White House; Has Opposed Charters, Backed DACA


Newly declared presidential candidate Jay Inslee, the Democratic governor of Washington state, opposed a successful 2012 ballot initiative allowing charter schools to open in his state, supported a tax hike to pay for teacher raises, and backed support for those immigrants who benefit from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Inslee, who announced his candidacy Thursday through an article in the Atlantic, was first elected governor in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 1995 and again from 1999 until 2012. He indicated that his primary issue in his campaign will be climate change, although his education record covers a variety of issues.

In 2012 when he first ran for governor, Inslee opposed the charter school initiative on the grounds that charters would take away resources from "strapped" traditional public schools. He also backed transferring more funding from wealthier to poorer school districts, and a bigger statewide tax levy to boost education aid. Looming over these proposals: a long-running court case over school funding in the state, McCleary v. Washington, in which judges ordered the state to boost aid to public schools. 

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Since taking office, he's also supported tax increases to pay for things like expanded all-day kindergarten, a boost in early child-care services, and pay raises for teachers. As for charters, he continued to keep his distance—after fights in the legislature and the courts, Washington's highest court ruled last October that charter schools can continue to receive public funds. 

Inslee has also urged the Trump administration to preserve DACA, which essentially protects immigrants brought into the U.S. as children from deportation under certain circumstances. 

Keeping track of who's in the race for the White House so far? Here's our post from earlier this week about Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who declared her intention to run Dec. 31. 

Click here for a cheat sheet on several 2020 contenders' education records

Photo: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks at a news conference in SeaTac, Wash., in 2018. (Elaine Thompson/AP-File)

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