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Former Mayor Tim Burgess is absolutely right, “Pre-K education lifts all children.” Cities across America, including Seattle, must invest in preparing their youngest residents for kindergarten and later success in life.

Too many kids are not ready for school. But high-quality early childhood education programs, like the Seattle Preschool Program, can help reverse that trend.

Seattle has a major opportunity in renewing the expiring Seattle Preschool and Families and Education Levies this fall to invest in the city’s future.

As the former mayor explains, the Seattle Preschool Program Pilot has already shown promising results. A recent study by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University and Cultivate Learning at the University of Washington found it was preparing children for kindergarten, and the children making the biggest gains in the program were children of color, children from low-income households or from non-English speaking families.

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All kids, regardless of income, race or ethnicity, deserve a chance to succeed. As the new president of Save the Children Action Network, my team and I look forward to working with local lawmakers, coalition partners and early-learning advocates to ensure Seattle’s children arrive at kindergarten equipped to learn.

Kris Perry, Washington, D.C., president, Save the Children Action Network