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Bezos Academy to open new tuition-free preschool in Everett

An agreement with the city includes a 10-year lease with Bezos Academy to offer free schooling for up to 60 students at Everett Station.
Credit: Oksana Kuzmina - stock.adobe.com
Preschool teacher and kids playing in kindergarten (generic).

EVERETT, Wash. — The Everett City Council approved Wednesday an agreement with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to create a new tuition-free preschool as part of the billionaire’s nationwide network of tuition-free academies.

The agreement includes a 10-year lease with Bezos Academy to offer free schooling for up to 60 students at Everett Station, located at 3201 Smith Avenue.

The agreement leases just under 4,000 sq ft of the first floor of the station and an additional 2,000 sq ft of outdoor space.

In the agreement, the academy only has to pay a rent of $120 for the entire 10-year term. Instead of rent costs, the academy will make community investments including substantial improvements to Everett Station, prioritizing admission for children in foster care or children experiencing homelessness and covering employment costs for educational and support staff.

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The council approved the agreement during its council meeting Wednesday.

The school is slated to open in fall 2022.

“Everett has a shortage of preschool options – especially for low-income families and families experiencing homelessness. This program will help bridge that gap and make a real difference for many in our community," said Cassie Franklin, mayor of the City of Everett.  

The Bezos Academy opened its first tuition-free school in Des Moines, Washington in October 2020. The academy has other locations in Centralia, Federal Way, Pacific Beach, Pasco, Renton, and two in Tacoma. Other locations include one in Orlando, Florida and two in Texas.

According to the academy's website, its goal is to provide tuition-free Montessori-inspired preschools to underserved communities.

Admission to the academy is based on a lottery and eligibility is determined by household income. Families that are interested can apply online for the 2022-23 school year beginning spring 2022, according to the website.