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King County Council passes implementation plan for $318 million education investment

This week, the King County Council unanimously passed the implementation plan for the Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account (PSTAA), which will trigger an investment of approximately $318 million over 15 years aimed at improving educational outcomes for King County students.

Education and early learning are critical to our children’s success, but too many miss out on opportunities because of persistent, systemic inequities due to race and income,” said King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci. “This fund, carefully crafted with both expert educators and community partners, will provide early learning facilities, K-12 educational supports, and a Promise program to launch students into post-secondary learning and careers.”

Created by the Legislature as an amendment to the 2015 State Transportation Revenue Package, PSTAA directs that these Sound Transit-related funds be used for educational services to improve educational outcomes in early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education.

52% of the funding is reserved for Early learning facilities, who will undertake construction and renovations of early learning and early intervention facilities, as well as homebased childcare services.

The King County Promise, an initiative that provides advising support for underserved high school and college students, will receive 38% of the funding. to provide services for students at the beginning of high school through postsecondary acceptance and completion.

K-12 Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led community-based organizations will receive 10% of the funding to fund a pilot called “Love and Liberation”, that will provide community programming to promote “positive racial and ethnic identity development.”

I’m particularly proud of working with former Councilmember Larry Gossett to draft language that allows funding to go to Love and Liberation, a groundbreaking pilot that will explicitly empower organizations with staff and leadership that have relevant lived experience or expertise in this area, and reflect the communities to be served,” Balducci said.

The Council’s legislative work on this initiative can be traced back to December 2017, when it passed a motion to study the educational needs in King County and possible strategies to implement reforms.

Preceding this implementation plan, the Council passed its King County Promise Legislation in August 2019, which set aside the $318 million investment.

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