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September 26, 1:23 PM click here to comment > 0

The Reader – Preschool for All in Seattle

THE READER
From the Office of Mayor Mike McGinn
News, Updates, and Information
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2013

Preschool for All in Seattle
Late last week, Mayor McGinn announced funding for the next steps to develop Preschool for All in Seattle, following through on his commitment first announced in January. The 2014 Proposed Budget also includes $500,000 in additional funding to expand the early learning programs that will serve as the building blocks of Preschool for All.

McGinn’s 2014 Proposed Budget includes $50,000 to create a Preschool for All proposal that can be submitted to the voters. This $50,000 in general fund dollars will be combined with $50,000 from the Families and Education Levy. The proposal will assess options for phasing in and funding universal preschool for 3 and 4 year olds, cost estimates, and strategies to ensure it is of high quality, accessible, and affordable. The study will be completed by spring 2014.

This study builds upon the first phase of the analysis, completed in June 2013, of all publicly-funded programs that provide support to children birth through third grade. This initial study was funded by the Families and Education Levy, and was overseen by the Office for Education. The study found there was no comprehensive system of services for children birth to third grade and that multiple funding sources with artificial restrictions reduce ability to flexibly meet demand.

“I’m excited that every child in Seattle could have the opportunity to get a quality, affordable, accessible preschool education,” said McGinn. “Universal preschool is one of the best ways to prepare students to succeed in school and get a good start in life. I am also grateful to the City Council that they have embraced the concept of universal preschool and that we have been working together on this opportunity.”


Funding to support Center City Initiative
The Center City Initiative has brought together residents, business owners, social service providers, advocates and multiple agency representatives to develop a balanced, compassionate and effective approach to helping those in need, increasing the sense of safety and security downtown, and improving enforcement of existing laws.

Mayor McGinn announced new investments in the proposed 2014 budget to support recommendations brought forth by the participants in the Center City Roundtable. The investments include $1.7 million for expansion of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program which connects low-level offenders with human services, $150,000 to increase hours at day and hygiene centers, $112,440 to extend Winter Response Shelters year-round, $500,000 for three Seattle Police officers dedicated to supporting Parks Rangers in downtown parks as well as Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill, $188,000 to make two recently hired Parks Rangers permanent, and $776,000 to increase Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) staffing.

“These are significant investments that will make downtown Seattle safer and more welcoming for everyone,” said Downtown Seattle Association CEO Kate Joncas. “Improving public safety in downtown requires new resources and strategies as well as close collaboration between law enforcement and human service programs.”

“The Center City Initiative approach is a paradigm shift about how to achieve public safety and public order,” said Lisa Daugaard of the Public Defender Association. “CCI has embraced using enforcement tools that are fair and appropriate and social service tools when they are more effective, and coordinating those approaches for the first time. LEAD gives police officers more options to address the situation of people whose public behavior is problematic because they are addicted, homeless, mentally ill, underemployed, victims of complex trauma, or a combination. The goal is to address those underlying issues so the person can live in a way that is healthier for themselves and poses fewer problems for downtown neighborhoods. We’ve learned through experience that jail and prosecution rarely achieve that outcome for people facing these problems.”


Mayor’s 2014 Proposed Budget
Mayor McGinn presented his 2014 Proposed Budget to City Council on Monday. The proposed budget prioritizes investments to enhance and expand public safety, human services and the city’s transportation infrastructure, as well as to empower residents and strengthen the vitality of Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods. The total proposed budget is $4.4 billion, including the city’s $1 billion General Fund. The mayor’s proposed budget also increases the city’s Rainy Day Fund to $34.7 million and the Emergency Subfund to $48 million — the largest dollar values ever.

The City budget contains complex financial information covering $4.4 billion in spending. To improve usability, accessibility and transparency of budget information, the mayor directed the City Budget Office (CBO) and Department of Information Technology to develop an interactive webpage displaying budget details. “Rather than going through the budget book, you can use this website to more quickly find the budget information you’re interested in,” McGinn said. CBO will use this same website to present individual department budgets to the City Council this year, eliminating the need for departments to create separate presentations. The website also makes it easy to follow along if you’re not in Council chambers. Also new this year, detailed budget information is available to the public in several data tables accessible on data.seattle.gov.

Watch Mayor McGinn’s budget speech here.

The investments outlined above and in the mayor’s speech are subject to City Council approval. The City Council is holding the following public hearings. For more details and other ways to contact the City Council about the budget, click here.

October 3, 5:30 p.m.(5 p.m. sign up), Council Chambers, Seattle City Hall (600 4th Ave)
October 24, 6:00 p.m. (5:30 p.m. sign up), Garfield High School Commons – (400 23rd Ave)


Upcoming events (for more see http://seattle.gov/mayor/Engage/access.htm):
Sept 28, 11:00 a.m. – Jefferson Horticulture Facility Open House, Jefferson Horticulture Facility (1600 S Dakota St)

Sept 30, 6:30 p.m. – City Neighborhood Council, City Hall (600 4th Ave)

Oct 1, 6:00 p.m. – North Transfer Station Rebuild Community Meeting, Lake Washington Rowing Club (910 N Northlake Way)

Oct 1, 6:00 p.m. – Vessels Used as Floating Residences, 415 Westlake Ave N


What we’re reading:
Hundreds gather in Seattle in opposition to coal, oil exports

Colorful traffic signs draw attention near Seattle schools

The state that taxes the poor the most is… a blue one

At last, a sparkly new community center for Rainier Beach


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Posted by: Nathaniel Merrill