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$318 Million for New Early Learning Facilities, K-12 Programs, College and Career Support for Underserved Youth in King County

Summary

Funding focuses on improving educational outcomes for underserved children and youth.

Story

Today, the King County Council passed legislation allocating roughly $318 million in education funding to be spent over the next 15 years on improving educational outcomes for underserved populations in King County.

The Council identified three priority educational areas for the future allocation of proceeds from the Puget Sound Taxpayers Accountability Account (PSTAA): early learning; K-12 education for vulnerable and underserved youth; and college, career and technical education. The Motion also prioritizes improving educational outcomes for the following underserved populations:

  • children and youth of color;
  • children and youth from families at or below two hundred percent of the federal poverty level;
  • children and youth who are homeless, in the foster care system, in the child welfare system, or are involved in the juvenile justice system;
  • children and youth with disabilities;
  • children and youth who identify as LGBTQ; or
  • otherwise vulnerable children and youth.

Funded strategies will be evaluated based on reducing educational achievement gaps for these populations as measured by kindergarten readiness, high school graduation rates, postsecondary program acceptance rates, and postsecondary degree or certification completion.

The executive branch will work with Council staff, stakeholders and the community to develop a plan to distribute PSTAA proceeds. This plan is requested to be transmitted by the Executive to the Council within eight months.

PSTAA was authorized by the state legislature in 2015 and is funded by a sales and use tax offset fee of 3.25% of total payments made by Sound Transit on the cost of construction projects.

 Allocations  As Passed by Council 
 Admin Percentage   7%
   
 Early Learning Remainder   52%
    In home care provider dedication   7.5%
   
 King County Promise Remainder  38%
    K-12 Dedication of KC Promise  45%
    Post-Secondary Dedication of KC Promise   45%
    CBO Dedication of KC Promise 10%
   
 K-12 Community Based Organizations Remainder  10%
 Total:  $318 M

Quotes:

“This is a new, historic investment in the children of King County who the education system is not well equipped to serve and are too often left behind. With this action we are investing in the educational success of these children and youth, focusing our efforts on kids who experience the greatest barriers through no fault of their own,” said the legislation’s cosponsor, Councilmember Joe McDermott. “By starting early in life to improve access to high quality pre-school, through successful transition to college and career, we can support young people at every stage of their development, which will reap rewards for our region today and in the decades ahead.”

“As our region grows rapidly and cost of living increases, we have to go the extra mile to make sure children and students from all walks of life don’t fall through the cracks,” said Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, co-sponsor of the motion. “Finding a way to proportionately allocate these funds across the educational continuum was a real challenge but I am pleased we have struck the right balance. I want to especially thank former state representative Jessyn Farrell for having the foresight to act at the state-level to ensure counties in the Sound Transit service area are able to access these funds to improve educational outcomes for our most vulnerable youth.”

"I am so proud of the investments we made today in programs for some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our community,” said Councilmember Claudia Balducci. “These deep, meaningful investments will help close achievement gaps and have a big impact on children and youth throughout King County."

“Closing the achievement gap in education is the civil rights issue of our time,” said Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. “The investments made in this legislation prioritize where the disparities are greatest -- and will help give more kids access to a world-class education that every child deserves.”

“I look forward to seeing these funds help improve educational outcomes for King County’s children and youth facing the most challenges in life,” said Council Chair Rod Dembowski. “I am appreciative of the strong community-based process that led to today’s funding decisions and look forward to seeing the positive impact these funds will have in communities county-wide.” 

“Today, we passed legislation that strengthens our commitment to the children and families of those most in need, especially to the children of color who are disproportionately impacted by institutional racism that leads to persistent educational achievement and opportunity gaps,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “I am also pleased that we have targeted the organizations who will receive these funds must have staff and leadership that have relevant lived experience or expertise in this area, and reflect the communities that they will serve.”

“This historic investment will benefit children and young adults in South King County for years to come,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “I have appreciated the interest and advocacy from organizations serving communities across King County, and look forward to the impact these funds will have.”

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Email:
council@kingcounty.gov