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Seattle City Council Approves Mayor Durkan’s Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Plan to Invest in Closing the Opportunity Gap and Creating Pathways to the Jobs of the Future

Plan Includes First-Ever Exemption for Low Income Seniors, People with Disabilities, and Veterans with Service-Connected Disabilities

Seattle (June 18) – The Seattle City Council voted 9-0 to approve Mayor Jenny Durkan’s Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise plan to significantly increase the children in preschool, increase investments in K-12, and expand access to college for Seattle public school graduates through the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program.

With both the 2011 Families & Education Levy and 2014 Seattle Preschool Program Levy set to expire this year, Mayor Durkan proposed that the City renew and combine them through a new Families, Education, Preschool and Promise plan. Homeowners of a median assessed value property ($665,000 in 2019) would pay approximately $20 each month. For the first time, qualified low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans with a service-connected disability will be eligible for an exemption. Following Mayor Durkan’s signature, the plan will be placed on the ballot for Seattle voters’ consideration in November 2018.

“We can and must act to close the opportunity gap in Seattle, put more young people on a path to good-paying jobs, and create a more affordable future for our children. These investments in quality preschool, K-12 education, and college will build true economic opportunity for our young people. Barriers often span generations, and for too long have held back communities of color, immigrants, and refugees. The Seattle Promise will open doors and change the lives of our young people,” said Mayor Durkan. “This proposal is also the first to have built-in relief for the most vulnerable taxpayers in Seattle, including veterans, those with disabilities, and the elderly.”

As proposed Mayor Durkan and amended by the City Council, Mayor Durkan’s plan would make seven years of investments to:

  • Continue the pilot of the Seattle Preschool program and substantially increase the number of children in quality preschool from 1,500 in 2018-19 to 2,500 in 2025-26;
  • Increase K-12 and community investments in closing the opportunity gap, increasing teacher diversity, providing support services for students experiencing homelessness, and helping students most at risk of dropping out of school;
  • Continue our strong support for school based health programs; and
  • Expand access to college for Seattle public school graduates through support for the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program, which would serve approximately 1,350 high school students participating in college prep and 875 Seattle Promise college students each year.