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Vote on Seattle's universal preschool initiative delayed by Seattle City Council

The Education of Young Children
The Education of Young Children
Photo by Leigh Vogel

On Monday June 16, 2014 the Seattle City Council delayed a scheduled preschool vote. According to the Seattle Times, the Mayor requested this delay so council members can put a price on a different plan that also would be on the November ballot. The plan in question is supported by unions that represent individuals in the childcare field. The results of that financial analysis weighs heavily on how — and perhaps even if — the city takes its own levy proposal to voters this fall.

By putting this week long delay into place, the Mayor is giving council until next Monday to put a $58 million property-tax levy on the November ballot to make high-quality preschool free, or at least more affordable, for all of Seattle’s families. Seattle's Mayor, Ed Murray, says it may be an option not to place the levy proposal on the ballot for voters at all. The financial particulars will be based upon the details decided on the other plan mentioned. "The other plan is backed by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 925 and the American Federation of Teachers-Washington (AFT). If approved, it would set city policy on how much parents should pay and how much child-care workers should earn, but it doesn't specify how the city would pay for that policy.", says the Seattle Times.

While the option of ensuring free and affordable preschool for families is the goal of the Preschool levy, the other plan will determine the guidelines on how much families are charged and also how much childcare employees will make. Taking all of this into consideration, Seattle City Council will make their decision.