I have researched both programs as seen in the 10 posts I have written on the programs.
My regret is that Burgess and others involved with 1B couldn’t come to the table with the proponents of 1A and work out a program that would work universally. Because of that, we have two proposals and unfortunately many people are confused as to how to vote.
I was confused also at first and it took me several weeks to sift through the information and talk with many people to come to my own conclusion.
First, let’s look at the ballot. This is how it will be worded:
1. Should either or neither of these measures be enacted into law?
[ ] Yes
[ ] No
2. Regardless of how you voted above, if one of these measures is enacted, which one should it be?
[ ] Proposition 1A
[ ] Proposition 1B
You can see that whether you vote Yes or No on the first question, you are to provide your opinion on which program you want.
This is where it gets tricky because we are under the impression that no matter what, one will be selected, whether voters think we should have a citywide preschool program or not. (Whacky? Absolutely. Can this be challenged? I believe it can.)
Because of the way the questions are worded, I recommend voting for 1A and to follow are my reasons in brief.
Why Yes 1A
- It’s inclusive. All existing preschool programs can participate which provides greater choice for low income families.
- Because it can include all programs it is easier to scale up to a county and even state level.
- Teachers can be trained while working.
- Wage increase to $15 per hour will be accelerated.
- Educators who live and work in Seattle developed the program.
- Families pay no more than 10% of their income across the board.
Why No on 1B
- Programs must agree to a prescribed curriculum and set of “assessments” in order to participate.
- An AA or BA is required which will displace existing teaching staff. 1B proponents say that scholarships will be provided but if you’re living on the edge financially, it will be very difficult, particularly if you have children.
- $15 wage increase will occur per the city’s plan. (Which is too long in my book)
- 1B continually uses the word “quality” preK and yet doesn’t support appropriate teacher training and wage increases.
- Because of the standardized material, programs such as Montessori and Waldorf will probably not want to be involved which decreases the choice and opportunities for lower-income students.
- By the way, 1B is not fully funded. They are short by about $20M. They say they will probably receive a state grant to cover the rest of the $58M they project it will cost to create and run the program for four years.
For more information on the propositions, please take a look at the homepage. All posts on this topic are now featured at that location.
Questions? Ask them here and I will do my best to answer them. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does.