Early results show the controversial Referendum 90 has 59.77 percent of voters saying yes, according to the secretary of state’s website.
Referendum 90 will decide whether Senate Bill 5395 — colloquially known as Washington’s sex-education bill — will be enacted into law.
SB 5395 was passed by the state Legislature earlier this year. Approving the referendum would enact the law, which, in short, requires all school districts in the state to teach “comprehensive age appropriate sexual health education” by the 2022-2023 school year, according to the ballot measure.
Rejecting the referendum would keep SB 5395 from being made into law.
From the bill: “Public schools are encouraged to review their comprehensive sexual health education curricula and choose a curriculum from the list developed” by Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Health. “Any public school may identify, choose, or develop any other curriculum if it complies with the requirements” of SB 5395.
A list of approved sex-ed curriculum, compiled by OSPI, shows districts can choose from four full curriculum and six supplemental curriculum for grades K-5; four full and 10 supplemental curriculum for grades 6-8; and nine full and eight supplemental curriculum for high schoolers.
Additionally, the bill doesn’t force students to undergo sexual education and allows for parents to review the curriculum.
“Any parent or legal guardian who wishes to have his or her child excused from any planned instruction in comprehensive sexual health education may do so,” the bill reads. “Any parent or legal guardian may review the comprehensive sexual health education curriculum provided in his or her child’s school.”