On November 4, 2014, the City of Seattle will vote on Proposition 1A and 1B. Voters are asked to decide, 1. Should either of these measures be enacted into law and 2. Regardless of whether you voted yes or no above, if one of these measures is enacted, which one should it be?
Both 1A and 1B concern early learning programs and providers of such services for children. Prop 1A would establish a $15 minimum wage for childcare workers (phased in over three years for employers with under 250 employees); seek to reduce childcare costs to 10% or less of family income; prohibit violent felons from providing professional childcare; require enhanced training and certification through a training institute; create a workforce board and establish a fund to help providers meet standards; and hire an organization to facilitate communication between the City and childcare workers.
As an alternative, the Seattle City Council and Mayor have proposed Proposition 1B (Ordinance124509), which would fund the four year initial phase of a City early learning program with the goal of developing a widely-available, affordable, licensed, and voluntary preschool option. The Ordinance requires support, training and certification for teachers. The program uses research-based strategies, includes evaluation of results, and provides tuition support. This proposition authorizes regular property taxes above RCW 84.55 limits, allowing additional 2015 collection of up to $14,566,630 (approximately 11¢ per $1,000 assessed value), totaling $58,266,518 over four years.
As an organization committed to empowering women and children and ensuring our children are healthy 21st century learners, the JLS encourages you to research this issue for yourselves and make your voice heard at the polls. Review your voters’ guide, League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, Seattle Times and others for more information and then have your ballots postmarked no later than November 4th to ensure your vote counts.