Mayor Murray, Superintendent Banda, Council President Burgess coming to West Seattle to announce Seattle Preschool Program

Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda will be back in West Seattle tomorrow morning for a big announcement – what’s expected to be a tax levy to raise money for universal pre-kindergarten in Seattle. They will announce what’s described in a media advisory as the “Seattle Preschool Program proposal” during an 11:30 am event at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, joined by City Council President Tim Burgess (who has been a leading advocate of the proposal), State Rep. Ruth Kagi, and State Department of Early Learning Director Bette Hyde.

29 Replies to "Mayor Murray, Superintendent Banda, Council President Burgess coming to West Seattle to announce Seattle Preschool Program"

  • trickycoolj May 14, 2014 (7:59 pm)

    Is there an ETA for this? Would like to leave for work before the circus arrives a block away.

    • WSB May 14, 2014 (8:00 pm)

      These things are rather low key. But – 11:30 am.

  • Morgan May 14, 2014 (8:17 pm)


  • angelescrest May 14, 2014 (8:48 pm)

    If this helps even the disparity in achievement I see in middle school, I say I’m more than happy to pay those taxes.

  • Person May 14, 2014 (9:30 pm)

    Wish they’d provide universal full-day kindergarten first.

  • CMB May 14, 2014 (9:49 pm)

    First, how about a refund to all the Public School parents who had to PAY for kindergarten over the last few years!

  • Rusty May 14, 2014 (9:58 pm)

    If the government’s own studies show that Head Start has no visible benefit after 3rd grade (, I guess it comes down to whether you think it’s fair to make people pay for other people’s baby-sitting. As a father of a 4-year-old, it’s expensive enough here paying for our own!

  • joel May 14, 2014 (10:26 pm)

    if you can’t afford daycare you can get it free from the government… section 8 housing….how about a plan to help fix the broken families…..spending a few hours in daycare and then going home to a messed up household is not going to fix much……..can the council, mayor and governor have one public forum and each gets 4 hours to lay out all of their proposed tax increases……if 4 hours would be enough for each. Did the mayor create a department just to think of ways to increase taxes?….so I pay for my daycare full boat with no assistance and now I get to pay for other people’s kids too?…..I can see the campaign signs now…..’do it for the kids’

  • Eric1 May 14, 2014 (10:30 pm)

    I’d like to think it is a benefit. If you are on the WS Blog, you guys probably had parents that cared and went to pre-school.
    The kids we complain about robbing people,stealing, and assaulting others probably didn’t go to pre-school.
    Universal pre-school won’t keep all the kids from going bad since free pre-school only works if you parents actually take you to school. But if you can stop a few families from starting generations of miscreants, it is probably worth it.
    Now if we only could get people to fill out permits before having kids that need free pre-school…

    • WSB May 14, 2014 (10:42 pm)

      I don’t know the details of what’ll be announced tomorrow – we’ll be there to report it. But please stop with the generalities, people – not being able to afford preschool doesn’t mean your parents don’t “care,” or that you’re from a broken home. Preschool, also, is NOT day care. As for “miscreants,” they come from families of all income types. Go sit in court for a while and see who steps up to speak at the sentencings. (I’m also speaking from the perspective of having met the parents of some of the repeat offenders we’ve reported on here.) Choose to vote yes or no, choose to tell your leaders you disapprove or approve of the way they’re trying to solve problems, but check your stereotypes at the door here, please. Thanks – TR

  • 935 May 14, 2014 (10:33 pm)

    Before this happens….can someone PLEASE slip a note to hizzoner stressing the importance of blinking….or at least not looking like a deer in headlights??

  • joel May 14, 2014 (10:52 pm)

    if the mayor gets everyone to $15 per hour then why would they need free daycare?

    WSB…..the daycare for my daughter is pre school…they are teachers…not babysitters. I’ll have paid $60k by the time she’s finished….and then pay for other kids too?….

    are any of the mayor’s tax increase not supported by the various unions?

  • Rusty May 14, 2014 (11:27 pm)

    No stereotypes, just facts. If the government’s own studies ( show that there is NO discernible benefit to the ‘Head Start’ program after 3rd grade, then why would we expand these types of programs? I have no issues helping solve problems, but don’t ask me to contribute to things that have proven to not work!

  • DP May 15, 2014 (5:16 am)

    @WSB – thank you!

  • flimflam May 15, 2014 (6:27 am)

    hey, maybe the taxpayers should be responsible for everyone’s’ college tuition also? why stop at pre “school”?

    only so much more the citizens can really be expected to pay in taxes in my opinion.

  • Anne May 15, 2014 (7:01 am)

    NO on a tax for preschool– just No.

  • Brian Connolly May 15, 2014 (7:49 am)

    In one breath you claim that making $15/hr should allow people to pay for daycare and then go on to claim that preschool for your daughter has cost you $60,000.
    Here’s a hint: If you make $15/hr, spending about $20k for a year’s worth of preschool (presuming three years of preschool) is still prohibitively expensive.

  • joel May 15, 2014 (8:21 am)

    Brian… are not dividing by the correct number of years. try 12k on average per year. family of 2 each making $15 per hour – is $63k per year based on 2 40 hour per week jobs. There are less expensive options for quality daycare than $12k per year. so yes, a family making $63k per year at minimum $15 per hour can afford daycare…..thanks for the hint though.

  • James May 15, 2014 (8:44 am)


    Let’s give Joel the maximum benefit of the doubt and say that he is paying for 5 years of pre-school. He would be paying $12,000 a year for his daughter. That only means that someone with a full time minimum wage job ($31,320 per year) would need to pay 38.4% of their gross wages for childcare. Assuming they pay FICA at 7.65%, it would go to 41.5% of their income after FICA taxes.

    Of course two minimum wage jobs would cut the above percentages in half.

    My child’s preschool costs more than the mortgage payment, and represents the single largest monthly expense for our household.

    I will need to hear more before I know how I will vote on Universal Pre-K. I just wanted to echo Brian Connoly in that the $15 minimum wage is not really related to the ability of a low wage worker to afford childcare/Pre-K.

  • joel May 15, 2014 (9:00 am)

    if it’s a single person making that amount of money then there are current government programs in place which would provide assistance, if not full 100% coverage, of daycare……if the first crack at running numbers assumes everyone is a single parent then there are many bigger problems than those that will be voted on in coming elections.

  • James May 15, 2014 (9:12 am)


    Based on a two income household of minimum wage workers under the new system It looks to me like it would be difficult to make a go of it paying for childcare for one child. I attempted to take a look at recommended spending breakdowns below. It looks like the only way that family could pay for childcare would be to cut way back on housing costs (hard to do in Seattle) and/or not save for retirement/other savings.

    This budget does not include emergencies, or the purchase of capital assets (like one or two cars to get to work/transport the child). Any more than one child is distinctly undoable.

    I personally can’t see where $1,000 a month would come from in the below budget, and am not familiar with much in the way of unsubsidized child care options (5 days a week so both parents can work) that would be significantly less than $1,000 a month.

    Apologies for formatting! For simplicity I show below on a monthly basis for two full time minimum wage workers.

    Income $5,220.00
    Housing 35% $1,827
    Debt 5% $261
    Taxes 15% $783
    Insurance 9% $470
    Retirement 8% $418
    Other Savings 8% $418
    Daily Spending 20% $1,044

  • emo May 15, 2014 (9:12 am)

    Since @Rusty posted to the link to a Head Start study twice, I thought I’d quote a section that seems relevant to me (just a few sentences, I promise):

    “At the end of 3rd grade for the 3-year-old cohort, the most striking sustained subgroup findings were found in the cognitive domain for children from high risk households as well as for children of parents who reported no depressive symptoms. Among the 4-year-olds, sustained benefits were experienced by children of parents who reported mild depressive symptoms, severe depressive symptoms, and Black children.”

    It seems hardly surprising to me that Head Start would have minimal impact on kids from low-risk (“good”?) households, but it certainly DOES have sustained benefits and seems that it might be a piece of closing the achievement gap later in school.

  • Jim May 15, 2014 (9:34 am)

    What’s the point of raising the minimum wage if you are just going to take it all back in sales tax, car tab fees, property taxes, etc.?

  • joel May 15, 2014 (12:22 pm)

    James…appreciate the numbers. with Obamacare there are subsidies available for purchasing health care….a family in need pays no where near the going rate for health care and can often obtain it for free (that is why the cost of everyone who can afford healthcare is going up offset the cost of the free/subsidized healthcare)…..yes, there are subsidies for childcare based on income, how many kids etc…..$1827 for housing- depending on priorities I believe that’s a rather high number. If you are spending 20% of every pre tax dollar perhaps take a second look at where your money goes. 16% in savings for retirement and general savings is a great amount….but likely far less than the average person is doing.

  • sam-c May 15, 2014 (12:40 pm)

    I am not sure I understand this. is the preschool program going to be full-time ? maybe my perspective is messed up, or maybe the people they are trying to help have more family helping them out at home….but.. to me, the only people that can ‘do’ part time preschool (free or not free) are families that make enough income for one parent/partner/ caregiver to stay at home all day. otherwise, parents/ partners/ caregivers are working full time all day.

  • sam-c May 15, 2014 (1:15 pm)

    a-ha, the 11:48 announcement on WSB indicates full day

  • James May 15, 2014 (1:53 pm)

    That housing figure would aldo include utility costs, not simply rental cost. That would include a gas (heat), water/sewer/waste, and electric bill. This is not to mention some sort of phone bill and or internet bill.

    Included in the 20% amount would be everything that is not enumerated above. Food, clothing, entertainment, transportation, emergencies, out of pocket medical costs, etc. I am not sure that is a lot to be spending for a family of 3.

    Insurance includes more than just health insurance. Parents should have life insurance, car insurance (if they have a car) and probably renter’s/homeowner’s insurance too.

    That leaves only savings from which to pay for child care.

    I don’t argue with you that most individuals in that income bracket are probably undersaving for general purposes and for retirement. A significant portion are probably underinsured as well – with their life insurance to take care of their kids in the event of untimely death being social security and nothing else.

    These things are not, I believe, luxuries. Rather, they are investments in the future of the individuals and families that, if possible, would lead to less need for reliance on government funded programs in times of crisis or emergency.

  • enough May 15, 2014 (2:04 pm)

    What flimflam said.
    If this and the transit get on the ballot again, I’m gonna LMAO if they both fail.
    No need to increase taxes for preschool, we paid for our kids to go the full day. Half days are an option. Just cough up the dough. You can write one check or pay monthly, last time I checked. If people can’t afford it, maybe they can get a waiver or apply for tuiton assistance but don’t tax everyone.

  • enough May 15, 2014 (2:09 pm)

    People say, well it’s only $3 more or it’s only (insert $ amount here) but it’s consistent, year after year. It adds up so it’s not just the paltry amount quoted everytime by the city. Maybe if the city did a better job with the money, people wouldn’t scoff and vote down initiatives. I know I was very supportive for decades but after I educated myself, I couldn’t help but be skeptical.
    No one is helping me live where I want to live. I live where I can afford to live. Such a foreign concept, I know.

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