PubliCola: Union Preschool Measure Will Cost $3 Million…or $100 Million

I just realized I never posted a link to this newish piece on PubliCola, in which I unpack the costs (or rather, the ignorance thereof) of one of the competing preschool measures on Seattle’s November ballot. An excerpt:

In November, Seattle voters will choose between two measures relating to early childcare and education. One, city-backed Prop 1 B to fund preschool slots (with an eventual goal of establishing universal preschool) will cost $58 million over four years. The other, Prop 1 A, backed by early childcare and education unions, will cost $3 million per year.

Or $100 million. Or something in between.

How can there be so much disagreement over the cost of Proposition 1A? Simply put: no one knows how much it will cost, because no one knows how its legal implications will play out in court. It could cost a couple million per year, or a hundred; it all depends on whether a court rules certain parts of the measure as ‘aspirational’ or ‘mandatory.’

A legal memo arguing for a soft interpretation of Prop 1A.

A legal memo arguing for a soft interpretation of Prop 1A.

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