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City of Seattle
Mike McGinn (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Seattle to vote on renewing Families and Education Levy

3/28/2011  4:00:00 PM

Seattle to vote on renewing Families and Education Levy
Mayor thanks City Council for important action

SEATTLE - Today Mayor Mike McGinn released the following statement after the Seattle City Council unanimously voted, as recommended by McGinn, to place the 2011 Families and Education Levy on the November ballot:

"This is a good day for Seattle. The renewal of the Families and Education Levy will show that our community is determined to help our children succeed, build strong families and better neighborhoods. I thank the members of the City Council for taking this important action to support our city's youth. I especially thank Councilmember Tim Burgess for his hard work on this issue," said McGinn.

The proposed renewal emerged from a series of community meetings in 2010 that were part of the Seattle Youth and Families Initiative. McGinn launched the initiative to identify the biggest obstacles facing youth, and to mobilize community members, organizations, city departments and schools to create solutions. Former Mayor Norm Rice, who pioneered the first Families and Education Levy in 1990, Estela Ortega of El Centro de la Raza, and former Deputy Mayor Bob Watt co-chaired this initiative.

The public process included five large-group community workshops, 131 community caucuses and a youth summit. Three thousand Seattle residents from across the city identified 1,202 issues and concerns confronting youth and families in our community. They told city government what needed to be done for our children - and what city government needed to do differently to help them.

On June 5, 2010, delegates from the caucuses, workshops and youth summit gathered at the Seattle Center for the Kids and Families Congress. The delegates reviewed the issues and concerns and refined them to 35 priority issues, which you can read HERE.

These priorities were central in guiding the Levy Advisory Committee's planning process for the 2011 Families and Education Levy, meaning that the levy reflects the community's agenda for addressing the problems facing our children.

To provide accountability, the Families and Education Levy will follow these principles:

  • Measure success based on student outcomes and performance-based contracts;
  • Change plans as necessary if a program isn't working, and remove funding for those that fail;
  • Report on student performance at least annually;
  • Continue sharing data with Seattle Public Schools;
  • Use strategic partnerships;
  • Support innovative academic strategies aimed at dramatically improving academic achievement;
  • Support academic elements of place-based community strategies for transformation of schools or feeder patterns of schools.

Please read the following blog posts for additional information on the 2011 Families and Education Levy:

Council takes next step on Families and Education Levy:

Helping our students stay healthy:

Early learning prepares children for success in school:

What are you working on? Youth and Families Initiative Phonebank:

Renewing our promise to Seattle's youth and families:

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Office of the Mayor

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