Councilmember Tim Burgess
Seattle City Council approves implementation strategy for Families and Education Levy
Plan raises the standard of accountability for City-funded programs
Seattle – The Seattle City Council voted unanimously this afternoon to approve the Families and Education Levy Implementation and Evaluation Plan (Council Bill 117395). Through the use of performance-based contracts, competitively awarded investments and required data reporting, the Plan emphasizes accountability and results.
"The Levy has been the City’s most effective tool for helping struggling schoolchildren. This legislation strengthens it further," said Councilmember Tim Burgess, chair of the Council committee that reviewed the legislation. "It focuses squarely on student academic achievement and directly links the City’s funding awards to student performance."
The Levy is a partnership between the City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools; it has three central goals:
- Promote school readiness and learning;
- Support academic achievement and reduce the academic achievement gap; and
- Prepare high school graduates for college and/or the career of their choice.
Recognizing the importance of an early start, the Levy significantly increases resources for pre-kindergartners and children in elementary school. Furthermore, it will focus on students who are underachieving academically in schools with a large population of students with academic challenges, or in schools with an overall low performance record.
To better integrate Levy resources with existing school efforts, the schools will be asked to identify the strategies or programs that will best align with ongoing work in classrooms. To help schools identify effective resources, the City will develop a list of providers, through a Request for Qualifications process, that have the ability to successfully help children improve academically. Schools may only use providers from that list for their Levy funded strategies.
The Levy was approved by 64% of Seattle voters in November. Programs will receive funding for the school year starting in September. The Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee, appointed in December, will meet monthly to review Levy processes and results.
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