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Education Investments Included in Mayor Harrell’s 2024 Budget Proposal

Seattle Preschool Program students at La Escuelita Bilingual Preschool welcome DEEL Director, Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Councilmember Tammy Morales, and Mayor Bruce Harrell to class by a chorus of “Bienvenidos”.

The 2023-2024 Proposed Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments released this week reflects Mayor Harrell’s continued commitment to, and investment in, bold actions that address urgent needs of our communities and advance One Seattle priorities. Mayor Harrell’s proposal continues work initiated in the 2023 Adopted Budget to invest in creating safe, healthy, and thriving communities. This budget continues supporting efforts to deliver effective public safety, build affordable housing and address the homelessness crisis, activate our Downtown, and advance opportunity and equity for all.  

With the investments in this budget proposal, we can work together to advance our shared One Seattle vision and an agenda that will inspire the best in our city and keep us moving forward.  


DEEL’s 2024 Proposed Budget is largely a continuation or expansion of existing programs and services the Department has been advancing for the past few years. DEEL’s 2024 Proposed Budget is $136.8M which includes $131.1M from the 2024 Endorsed Budget passed last year and $5.7M in proposed changes included in the 2024 Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments. 

Key Highlights 

Below is a summary of highlights in the 2024 Proposed Budget which are largely funded through the 2018 Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy: 

  • Expansion of the Seattle Preschool Program. The 2024 Proposed Budget includes resources for the planned expansion and addition of six preschool classrooms. 
  • K-12 Culturally Specific and Responsive Programming. With guidance from the Levy Oversight Committee, additional funding is provided to continue expanded programming for K-12 students. 
  • Seattle Promise Equity Enhancements. Additional resources for equity scholarships and other wrap-around services have been provided to enable scholars to continue and persist in post-secondary programs.
  • K-12 Mental Health Programming. Continuing initial efforts in 2023, funding is included to fund a pilot program in a few high schools to provide enhanced mental health supports.  

Key Changes  

There are two proposed changes included in the 2023-2024 Proposed Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments that are funded by Payroll Expense Tax: 

  • $2.9M for one-time child care worker retention payments. 
  • $327,000 for contract inflation and provider pay increase for early learning human service provider contracts. 

Over the next two months, the City Council will review the mayor’s 2023-2024 Proposed Mid-Biennial Budget Adjustments. Public hearings are on October 18 and November 13. Final adoption of the budget is expected on Tuesday, November 21. Read more about the mayor’s proposed budget here.  

The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education.