Seattle considering universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 4 at 5:21 PM

Seattle city leaders are considering universal pre-school for all 3- and 4-year-olds. It’s a sweeping concept that would provide free pre-school for low income families and a sliding scale for other Seattle families.

A resolution to make it happen was introduced by Council Member Tim Burgess.

"Universal pre-school is a huge benefit for the kids, families and for the city as a whole,” he said.

Burgess says every study shows early education leads to more academic success, but there are more studies to be done.

Under the proposed city-run pre-school program, the school district would not be the dominant provider - there's not enough room.

The program will cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, but Burgess Seattleites would be willing to spend it.

"We either pay early and reap benefits or we're all going to pay later through criminal justice costs, social interventions, all of those things that are the result of not educating our kids,” he said.

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