A new public opinion poll released yesterday shows very strong support for a publicly funded, voluntary preschool program for Seattle’s three and four year olds. I believe this confirms Seattle’s compassionate commitment to children and universal high-quality education.
The poll was conducted by Strategies 360, a public affairs consulting firm. The live telephone survey of 400 likely Seattle voters was conducted in mid-October and has a margin of error of 4.9% at the 95% confidence level. Here are some of the survey highlights.
- 79% of the total respondents and 83% of women said they would support a publicly funded, voluntary preschool program. Support was highest from respondents in central and southeast Seattle, 88% and 79% respectively.
- There is not much support (37%) to fund universal preschool by trimming other city government departments or programs and moving the savings into the preschool program, but there is strong support (79%) for charging a sliding scale of fees depending on a family’s income.
- Respondents were mixed (46% support, 52% oppose) on whether property taxes should be raised to support the preschool program. Support grew to 62% when respondents were asked whether they would combine all three of the potential funding sources (trimming from other city departments, increasing property taxes and charging parents a sliding scale based on their income).
The City Council approved legislation last month establishing a new City Council goal and work plan to make voluntary, high-quality preschool available and affordable to all 3- and 4-year-old children in Seattle. You can read some of my previous posts on this subject here and here.