Calling for early education for all, the Seattle Times Editorial Board has endorsed a plan by Christina Weiland, Education Policy Initiative faculty co-director, and her colleagues for universal pre-k in Washington state.
Weiland’s 2021 policy brief presents recommendations that address the failure to provide high-quality universal preschool for all three- and four-year-old children in Washington.
The editorial board writes, “A rigorous study found that Washington ranks 38th in the nation in providing publicly funded quality programs. If this state is serious about getting more local kids into good jobs that earn a living wage, public preschool must be part of the conversation.”
The “rigorous study” the board refers to is Preschool for All: A Strong Start for Washington State’s Children, a policy brief published by Christina Weiland and her team in 2021 that calls for universal pre-K in Washington.
Two of Weiland’s co-authors, former state representative Ruth Kagi and Tim Burgess, who is now Seattle’s deputy mayor, are cited for exploring the cost of universal pre-K in the state—estimated between $795 million and $1.5 billion annually. The editorial board argues that such an investment would be well worth it to both families and the business community.
“Universal preschool will not cure all social ills,” writes the board. “But in a state where quality child care is prohibitively expensive even for middle-income families, the ability to put kids on a path to success in school and beyond, while allowing their parents to pursue careers and greater economic stability, is a win.”
You can read the editorial here.
The article was written by Jeanne Hodesh, Marsal Family School of Education.