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July 24, 4:32 PM click here to comment > 1

The Reader – New funding for more preschool slots

THE READER
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, 2013

New funding for more preschool slots
Mayor McGinn announced the award of approximately $470,000 in funding from the 2011 Families and Education Levy for investments in early learning at three Seattle preschools as part of the City of Seattle’s Step Ahead preschool program:

The 2011 funding increases slots at one existing Levy-funded preschool, Denise Louie Education Center in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, and adds two preschools to the Step Ahead program, Seed of Life LLC (southeast Seattle), and Puget Sound Educational Service District (southwest Seattle). The Levy now funds a total of 20 preschool sites operated by 11 community agencies. For a complete list of Step Ahead preschools please see attached chart.

“This new funding will help more children get the early learning they need,” said Mayor McGinn. “Research has shown that high-quality early learning environments are key to a child’s future success in school and beyond.”

The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD), which administers the Step Ahead preschool program, received six applications for nine preschool sites totaling $996,000 in requested funds through a Request for Investment (RFI) process. The RFI sought to contract with a diverse group of providers to deliver preschool services for low- and moderate-income families of three- and four-year-old children who live in the attendance areas of Seattle elementary schools that are eligible for Families and Education Levy funding.


Support for young immigrants eligible for work visas
Today Mayor McGinn announced new City efforts to support young people eligible for work authorizations through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) policy launched by President Barack Obama in June 2012. Individuals age 18 and over can now call the Seattle City Light Service Center at (206) 684-3000 and have their names added to the utility bill for their home, helping to provide a paper trail to prove residency.

“These small changes in the way the City operates can have a big impact on the lives of these young people,” said McGinn. “We have an opportunity here to support immigration reform at the local level. We hope other cities will follow our lead in supporting youth who are eligible for DACA.”

DACA offers a two year grant of reprieve from deportation as well as work authorization for unauthorized immigrants who were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 and entered the United States under the age of 16. This includes many of those who would have been eligible for legal residency under the proposed DREAM Act.

Many DACA-eligible people have reported that one of their greatest challenges is to prove that they have been continuously residing in the United States since their arrival in childhood, after years spent hiding the fact of their residency. The City of Seattle will help DACA-eligible people prove their residency by permitting them to show utility bills with their name listed. Washington State has over 40,000 residents eligible for a work authorization under DACA, many of them currently residing in Seattle.


Improving safety on Northeast 75th Street
Mayor McGinn and City Traffic Engineer Dongho Chang announced last week four proposals for improving road safety by restriping Northeast 75th Street near Nathan Eckstein Middle School. The proposals were developed in partnership between the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and community residents in response to concerns raised after a tragic DUI-related collision on Northeast 75th Street in March.

“We’ve heard from residents that reducing speeds is a high priority on Northeast 75th Street,” said McGinn. “These proposals can help people slow down as they drive near Eckstein Middle School. We’ll work with the community to determine the best option for moving forward.”

SDOT has worked in collaboration with the community to consider changes to these streets in an effort to bring down speeds and make the roadway safer for students, neighbors and all roadway users. SDOT held three public meetings in April and May where attendees discussed existing conditions and traffic data, and discussed potential improvements. Support for different roadway configurations was one of the most common suggestions SDOT heard from the community in those meetings.


Seattle Children’s Hospital pledges funding for bike share program
Thank you to Seattle Children’s Hospital, which announced a $500,000 grant to Puget Sound Bike Share. The grant will provide adult helmets at future bike-share stations in the Seattle area. Seattle Children’s is the first major Seattle-area employer to invest in the program, which has received $1.75 million in state and federal grants.

“Seattle’s bike-share network will help provide a new option for people to get around, supporting health, safety and vibrant communities,” said Seattle Mayor McGinn. “This program is a partnership with the private sector, and we hope other institutions in our community will step forward to match Seattle Children’s investment.”


Video highlights (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/photos/videos.htm):

Safety Improvements on NE 75th St Pay By Phone Street Parking
Support for Young Immigrants Puget Sound Bike Share

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Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill

Comments

Comment from Sharon
Time July 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Education is more about continued support through the grades, than it is about early learning. Keep that in mind as you spend the levy money.