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After Seattle Voters Approve Her Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Plan, Mayor Durkan Celebrates with Seattle Promise Students and Commits to Results-Based Investments

Voter-Approved Investments Will Allow All Seattle Public Schools Students to Attend Two Free Years of College, Increase Seattle Preschool Program Seats to 2,500 Per Year, and Strengthen Wraparound Supports and Out-of-School Time Opportunities for K-12 Students

Seattle (November 7) – Standing in Cascade Hall where less than a year ago she signed Executive Order 2017-14 creating the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan celebrated the passage of her Families, Education, Preschool and Promise plan, which was overwhelmingly approved by Seattle voters.

Standing alongside Seattle Colleges leaders and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau, education and preschool advocates and other elected leaders, Mayor Durkan thanked the voters of Seattle and committed to efficient implementation of the plan and making the biggest impact possible with taxpayer dollars in order to close the opportunity gap for children in Seattle.

“This is a victory for families and kids across Seattle. Seattle voters have overwhelmingly decided to support Seattle kids from preschool through college and create opportunity for every young person in our City,” said Mayor Durkan.  “I am incredibly thankful to everyone who has committed to this investment in our kids and continue to support the creation of the Seattle Promise program. Now, we must work together to continue closing the opportunity gap, putting more young people on a path to good-paying jobs, and creating a more affordable future for our children.”

“With the passage of Seattle Proposition 1, the voters have renewed and enhanced their investments to nearly double the number of Seattle Preschool classrooms, address the needs of students experiencing homelessness, student-based health centers in K-12 schools and free college for public school graduates,” said Councilmember Gonzalez. “These investments have been shown to support our kids ability to focus on learning and thriving from pre-school through their first two years at a Seattle College. Seattle voters have made a very wise choice.”

Councilmember Rob Johnson issued the following statement: “Going back to 1990’s original Families and Education levy, Seattle has a strong history of supporting kids in our public schools.  Today’s vote builds on that foundation of four successful prior ballot measures, including the 2014 passage of Seattle’s pre-K program. Thanks to the generosity of Seattle voters, thousands of low-income kids will be able to attend a high-quality pre-K program, which we know increases success in school. Around 30 Seattle Public Schools will be able to continue providing their students with critical levy-funded supports like math and reading interventionists, public health nurses, counselors, and extended learning opportunities to those students. And now, hundreds of students graduating from a Seattle Public High School will be eligible for two years of enrollment at one of our Seattle Colleges fulfilling our Seattle Promise.  Seattle voters’ generosity on all of these investments, pre-K, K-12, and Promise, will continue to be focused on closing the opportunity gap and making sure that all students in our public schools are given the tools and support to thrive. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue these critical investments and can’t wait to roll up our sleeves to start working on adoption of an implementation plan.”

The Mayor’s Families, Education, Preschool and Promise plan makes seven years of investments across the education continuum, with services for Seattle’s children from preschool to post-secondary.

With voter approval of the Mayor’s plan, the City of Seattle will further enact the following investments beginning next year:

  • Expand the popular and highly successful Seattle Preschool Program, increasing eligibility to all of Seattle’s 3 and 4-year-olds,and growing by more than 65 percent over seven years to serve 2,500 children in the 2025-26 school year.
  • Provide childcare vouchers targeted towards families currently experiencing homelessness so that children can attend a program while families complete housing and stabilization needs.
  • Support K-12 school health investments and adds three new school-based health clinics to increase access to compressive medical and mental health care and other services to promote early intervention, prevention and treatment of other health-related barriers to learning success.
  • Increase K-12 and community investments that offer supplemental services focused on closing opportunity gaps, for highest needs students, and communities with a focus on college access and job readiness.
  • Expand the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program, created by Mayor Durkan: beginning in fall 2019 all Seattle Public Schools graduates will be eligible for two years (90 credits) of tuition at any of the Seattle Colleges. Students that have other financial needs (books, materials, living, childcare, etc.) will have access to funding support as needed depending on eligibility.