The Seattle City Council voted on Monday to send two competing early childhood education initiatives to voters this fall. One initiative was proposed by council President Tim Burgess and Mayor Ed Murray, and the other by a union that represents child care workers.
For years, President Obama has been a vocal booster of early childhood education. In his past two State of the Union addresses, he has called on Congress to help fund preschool for every child in the country.
"Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high-quality early education," Obama told Congress in January.
Two Seattle Head Start programs have lost their federal funding after they failed to meet quality standards. It's the first round of contract terminations in the new push by the Obama administration to improve the early learning programs for low-income kids.
The president’s proposal to improve quality and accessibility of preschools includes a cost-sharing partnership with all 50 states. Federal funds would go to expand high-quality public preschools, open to low- and moderate-income four-year-olds from families at or below 200 percent the poverty level.