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Should States Spend Billions To Reduce Class Sizes?

Last month, voters in Washington decided that the state’s classes were filled with too many kids. A ballot initiative seeking to limit class sizes to 17 students for kindergarten through third grade and to 25 students for all others squeaked by, garnering only 51 percent of the vote.

But a majority is a majority, and now the state must cut class sizes at every grade level — meaning it needs to hire thousands of new teachers, counselors, teaching assistants and librarians. The initiative will cost nearly $5 billion through 2019, a hefty sum considering that the state’s current two-year budget for public education is around $15 billion.

But it’s unclear where the money will come from. Or if it’s even worth spending.