Seattle voters approve families and education measure

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by KING5.com

KING5.com

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 11:30 PM

Seattle voters approved a family and education tax levy on the 2011 general election ballot.

The first set of returns released Tuesday night showed the initiative leading 59 percent to 41 percent.

The measure is designed to fund school readiness, academic achievement in elementary, middle and high school, college/career preparation, and student health and community partnerships.

It authorizes regular property taxes above established limits, allowing additional 2012 collection of up to $32,101,000 and up to $231,562,000 over seven years.

In 1990, 1997, and in 2004 Seattle voters approved “Families and Education Levy” property tax increases. Funds from the levies supported programs for children and their families both in and out of school. The 1990 and 1997 levies each totaled $69,000,000 over seven years. The 2004 levy totaled $116,788,000 over seven years. The 2004 levy will expire by the end of 2011.

The measure was backed by Mayor Mike McGinn, the City Council, education groups and labor unions.

Opponents said the city school system was incapable of managing its existing resources effectively and that funds raised under the measure would benefit bureaucracy over families and children.

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