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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Universal pre-K: Stabilize early learning in Seattle

I agree that “even before it hits the ballot” the mayor’s pre-K plan has significant problems, but I disagree on what they are [“Voters should thwart attempts to hijack mayor’s pre-K mandate,” Opinion, June 19].

The biggest problems with the mayor’s plan are:

First, it is not universal. It’s a pilot plan covering only 14 classrooms the first year. Seattle has about 30,000 children under 5 years old who all need safe care and effective early education.

Second, it allows only two curricula. Many of the best programs do not and will not comply — they have developed their own curricula. Parents deserve rich choices in finding the best programs for their children.

Third, it excludes teachers from workforce-development planning and decision-making in favor of city bureaucrats. Child-care providers, teachers and directors want to work in partnership with the city.

Finally, the mayor’s plan doesn’t address the ridiculous, harmful turnover in early learning. Kids benefit from a stable early learning environment. Raising wages without delay would help stabilize early learning in our city.

Kathy Yasi, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education, Kathy Yasi, Universal pre-K

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