Update: Here's an event to talk about this issue from the League of Women Voters/King County:
Help lay a foundation of understanding for the continuing public discourse on early learning and the role of public policy. Participate in the LWVS-KC conversation on September 4 with panelists representing the Puget Sound Educational Service District, University of Washington, and Thrive by Five. Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
Event Date & Time:
Thu, Sep 4 - 7:00 PM
Seattle First Baptist Church
1111 Harvard Ave, Seattle
end of update
We're seeing a ramping up of the start of campaigns for both preschool measures. Sort of.
I would put a link to the City's Preschool for All campaign but there is none. (The PDC reports $36K being spent but only $150 in donations. It's hard to know what to make of a campaign that has no website.) When you put "Seattle Preschool for All" into Google, the first hit you get is to..Teachers United who, of course, supports this measure. Here's the City Council's Preschool for All webpage.
At some point, there has to be a separate campaign for Preschool for All because there can't be one through the City or City Council.
As for the other preschool initiative, Yes for Early Success (YES), they do have a website. I feel that this initiative is geared towards having better prepared and better paid preschool teachers (no matter where they teach) rather than the City's better prepared/better paid preschool teachers coupled with the creation of a huge number of preschools for the City to oversee and City provided curriculum and services.
The union group is appealing a lower court ruling that puts the two initiatives squarely against each other. They want voters to be able to vote in BOTH. (You can vote to not support both initiatives OR vote for one or the other but NOT both. I think this voting issue will be very confusing to voters.)
I'll do a later thread on both initiatives but at this point I can say two things:
- I think they are doing different things and it would be costly to pass both.
- I'm not sure either one of them (especially the City's) is the best way to approach this idea. Just like nearly everything in public education, it's not the question "Would providing quality preschool to more kids be a good idea?" It's a question of the devil being in the details.
I believe the City's proposal leaves too many unanswered questions and I'm not willing to just vote in a pot of money especially when so much seems to depend on this "partnership" with Seattle Schools. I think the union's may be too narrow a focus.
I welcome any and all input on this issue. Telling me it's a "social justice" issue is not going to blind me to examining the initiatives fully and I'll just venture that it's not wrong to vote no on an important issue if what is being offered is not the right way to get there.