New School Year, Recent Funding Awards, and 2023 Budget Overview

Department of Education and Early Learning blue-white logo

Fall 2022 Newsletter, Volume 3, Issue 3

DEEL Director Dr. Dwane Chappelle, Principal Stowell of RESMS, and Mayor Harrell welcome students on their first day of school.

Renewed Partnerships and Commitment to Student Success Mark the Start of the 2022-2023 School Year

After a short delay to the start of the school year, educators, administrators, and City leaders came together to welcome Seattle students to a brand new school year! DEEL and our school and community partners are excited for the new opportunities ahead to demonstrate our collective commitment to providing student and family supports and access to equitable, high quality learning opportunities throughout the 2022-2023 school year. Read on to learn how levy-funded programs and other City investments in education are shaping up for the new year. 

Above image: Mayor Bruce Harrell, Principal Zach Stowell, and DEEL Director Dr. Dwane Chappelle welcome students to the first day of classes at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School.

Investment and Program Features

Creative Kids - Carkeek Preschool Class picture

Seattle Preschool Program Summer Extension, a Pandemic-Era Adaptation, Boosts Kindergarten Readiness

This August, we visited the Creative Kids program at Carkeek Park to see how summer extension programming—a COVID-era adaptation to the Seattle Preschool Program now made permanent—is supporting greater kindergartener readiness for young learners with more opportunities for social and academic preparedness. 

A Rainier Beach graduate waves during commencement

Rainier Beach High School’s IB-for-All is a FEPP Levy-Funded Model for Inclusive High-Quality Student Learning

Rainier Beach High School’s (RBHS) uniquely accessible IB-for-All program served 75 percent of 2022’s graduating class, representing 156 seniors, on their paths to universities and careers in 2021-22. This fall, RBHS is adding a new Career Program to prepare even more students for their post-graduation pathway.


DEEL Awards Nearly $900K in Grants for Educator Diversity 

King 5 News recently highlighted DEEL partner ACE Academy and their work addressing the imbalance of culturally diverse educators in Seattle schools. DEEL funding supports ACE Academy's Black Educator Café as part of a broad investment strategy supporting educators of color to enter and remain in the field. Overall, DEEL Educator Diversity awards will support six community organizations providing professional development for up to 520 teacher candidates of color.  

DEEL Director Dr. Dwane Chappelle shares a message of appreciation for K-12 community partners.

K-12 Community Partner Appreciation Event Celebrates Successes 

The event brought together community organizations representing multiple DEEL funding partnerships, including Opportunity and Access, Summer Learning, Youth Leadership, and Black Girls, Young Women, Black Queer and Transgender Youth for an afternoon of celebration and relationship building. These DEEL partners and investments served about 2,600 youth citywide this past school year, furthering our effort to advance educational equity.

Recent Funding Awards

Over the last quarter, DEEL announced more than $4 million in funding awards to support Seattle children, youth, and families. Here's a look at recent funding opportunities: 

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Sign up for our Education Funding Opportunities email list to get notifications about upcoming funding and partnership opportunities delivered to your inbox.  

Department Features

Mayor Harrell at 2023 Budget Speech

2023 Budget Overview

On September 27, Mayor Bruce Harrell released his 2023-24 Proposed Budget, which reflects a continued commitment to bold action on the priorities of our communities – investing to address urgent needs as we build One Seattle. This budget responds to the City’s ongoing and long-term revenue gap by balancing immediate priorities with the resources available to respond and by identifying improvements and efficiencies. The investments in this budget proposal will help us 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 2023 Proposed Budget is $128.7M and is largely a continuation or expansion of existing programs and the great work the Department has been advancing for the past few years. Key investments include: 

  • $5.3M for Child Care Workforce Hiring/Compensation
  • $4.9M in FEPP levy funds for scheduled program expansion
  • $2.1M for K-12 Culturally Specific and Responsive Programming Expansion
  • $2.0M for Seattle Promise Equity Enhancements

Over the next two months, the City Council will review the Mayor’s proposed budget. Public hearings are on October 11 and November 7. Final adoption of the budget is expected on Tuesday, November 22. More information about details in the budget can be found at


Leilani Dela Cruz Announced as DEEL's New Early Learning Division Director

New EL Director Leilani Dela Cruz speaks with Converge Media

New Early Learning Division Director Leilani Dela Cruz brings decades of experience supporting Seattle's early education community, including DEEL's preschool and child care partners

DEEL recently announced Leilani Dela Cruz as the new director of our Early Learning Division, with responsibility over all the City’s investments in early learning, including the Seattle Preschool Program, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) classrooms, the Child Care Assistance Program, and multiple investments in the prenatal-to-three space, such as partnerhsips for ParentChild+, Nurse Family Partnership, Developmental Bridge Program, and Prenatal-to-Three community grants. The EL Director also plays an essentail role in developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in early learning, including community partners; Seattle Public Schools; labor partners; federal, state, and county government entities; and elected officials.

FEPP Levy Oversight Committee Observes Preschool-to-Postsecondary Investments in Action 

LOC Partner Site Visits

Levy Oversight Committee members and City and school district leaders visited FEPP Levy-funded programs over the summer and at the start of the school year, including the Launch summer program at Madrona Elementary (top left) Cleveland STEM High School's summer programming (top right), Seattle Preschool Program at Rising Star Elementary (bottom left), and the Seattle Promise Summer Bridge orientation at Seattle Central College (bottom right).

From July through early October, DEEL’s school and community partners welcomed the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise (FEPP) Levy Oversight Committee to observe programs in action and learn more about each investment area. This series of field trips created an opportunity for committee members to engage with students and program partners in person, celebrate successes, and better understand challenges to programming caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to all our partners for generously welcoming the committee members and staff into their classrooms and programs. Learn more and view photos from the field trip series on our blog.

Student and Family Resources

CCAP Video Image

Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) 

CCAP helps cover child care costs for children ages one month to 12 years old for income-eligible families living in Seattle. Families receive a monthly voucher for child care that can be used at  more than 200 participating CCAP providers in the city. Learn more at

New CCAP video available in 10 Languages!   English  |  Español |  አማርኛ  |  Oromo  |   普通话   |  广州话Soomaali Tagalog  |  ትግርኛ  |  Tiếng Việt 


Seattle Preschool Program logo

Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) Enrolling Now

SPP provides affordable, high-quality preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds living in Seattle. Classes are now in session, but enrollment slots are still available! Extended-day child care with subsidies is available at some locations. Families can learn more and apply at 



Seattle Promise - Earn a degree, tuition free. Apply today at

Apply for Seattle Promise Now!

Seattle Promise applications are now open for graduating seniors from all Seattle public high schools. Students can apply for two years or 90 credits of tuition and students supports. Equity scholarships are available to cover non-tuition costs such as books, transportation, and child care. To learn more and apply, visit today.



A class of 2022 Cleveland High School graduate smiles at the commencement ceremony.

FAFSA and WAFSA Financial Aid Applications Open!

High school seniors interested in college can apply now for federal and state financial aid by completing their FAFSA and WAFSA applications. Seattle Promise scholars must submit financial aid applications by April 30, 2023 to maintain program eligibility.


School-based health center services are available to all Seattle Public Schools students.

Stay Healthy This School Year by Visiting a School-Based Health Center (SBHC)

SBHC's offer a comprehensive scope of services including asthma care, immunizations, age-appropriate reproductive health care, and mental health counseling. Services are available to all Seattle Public Schools students at 29 school sites. Learn more about SBHC services here.


Join the Tasveer Youth Board to gain leadership skills, meet other South Asian youth, earn a stipend, and engage with community through art.

Gain Leadership Skills by Joining the Tasveer Youth Board 

DEEL's Youth Leadership partners at Tasveer are seeking youth applicants ages 15-18 years old for the Tasveer Youth Board, which empowers South Asian youth from diverse backgrounds to critically and creatively engage in producing their own films, art, and storytelling. Youth will gain leadership skills, meet other South Asian youth, earn a stipend, and engage with community through art. Students can learn more and sign up here. 


SYEP youth pose for a photo.

Boost Your Student Resume with a Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) Internship

SYEP provides career development and hands-on work experience to Seattle youth ages 16 to 24. Apply for the Foundations and Pathways Program by October 19.