An expanded version of two expiring Seattle levies will be on your ballot this November. From the announcement of today’s unanimous City Council vote:
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. …
… As proposed by 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.
As of this fall, pre-levy vote, West Seattle High School joins Chief Sealth International High School and four other schools in what started as the 13th Year Promise program, a free year at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). If the levy passes, all graduating public-high-school seniors in Seattle would be eligible for two free years at any of the Seattle Colleges, not just SSC. Meantime, for a comparison of the levy cost to taxpayers vs. what they’re paying now, it’s $9.36 more a month for that “median homeowner,” according to Councilmember Lorena González.