Seattle School Board enters into agreement with the city to create new preschool classes.
The Seattle School Board voted Wednesday to enter into a service agreement with the city to create three new preschool classes.
The board voted to accept $647,991, which is funded through the Seattle Preschool Program. The grant fund will go toward converting three classrooms in three Seattle Public Schools buildings for 60 preschool students.
Seattle’s pilot program will subsidize preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds based on a sliding scale according to household income. More than 200 children will be in classes held across the city starting in September. Seattle officials chose four providers and 10 sites in July for the program’s first year.
The three classrooms were vetted through the Seattle Public Schools facilities department, according to the School Board. The Bailey Gatzert space was a vacant classroom being used for storage and occasional small-group activities, while the Van Asselt room was occupied by a community-based organization that was given notice to close its program in June. The old Van Asselt building has a classroom space available.
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A majority of the public comments at Wednesday’s board meeting were in favor of the one-year service agreement, though some speakers cited what they believe is a lack of transparency between the board and the city and the possibility of less than a 100 percent reimbursement from the city.
Mayor Ed Murray said in July that the program’s goal is to help close the achievement gap between children of color and their white peers.