Policy Resource

Seattle Voters Approve Funding for Early Learning

Feb 9, 2016

Financing resource information on state policies and initiatives that impact infants, toddlers and their families

On November 8th, 2011, Seattle voters overwhelmingly passed a $232 million extension of the Families and Education Levy. The levy provides support for children and their families, both in and out of school, in an effort to prepare all children to graduate from school college/career ready. The 2011 renewal also retains the current 2004 levy goals: readiness for school; academic achievement and reduction of the achievement gap; and graduation from high school.

According to recommendations developed by the 2011 Families and Education Levy Advisory Committee, approximately $61 million of the new seven-year extension could be directed toward a coordinated strategy to prepare children to enter kindergarten ready to learn. Components of the strategy include a new initiative to provide training for Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) care providers; continued partnership with United Way to provide home visitation to vulnerable families; expansion of health and mental health screenings for young children in preschool, child care, and home settings; and support to help children transition to kindergarten.

Seattle residents first passed the Families and Education Levy in 1990. This is the third time it has been renewed. The 2011 extension nearly doubles the amount of the current levy, adding approximately $59 to Seattle property-tax bills for a total average cost of $124 to homeowners in 2012. The levy is administered by the Seattle Office for Education.

For more information on the Families and Education Levy visit the Seattle Office for Education at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/education/overview.htm.

Updated July 2012

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