Where can I read the PFA plan?
Why did UP NOW merge with PFA?
Conversations between Universal Preschool NOW and Preschool For All began more than a year ago, when the groups learned about one another and their shared goal of making preschool free for Multnomah County kids. Both groups recognized that presenting voters with a single ballot measure offered the best chance of success, and that each campaign brought particular strengths. Through productive negotiations, the campaigns reached an agreement on a plan both are very happy to support.
Should UP NOW supporters vote for PFA in November?
Yes! The Universal Preschool NOW campaign is a coalition partner in the Preschool For All measure that will appear on the November ballot. Please vote yes!
Can I still wear my UP NOW shirt?
Only if you still support universal preschool for every kid in the county, and a fair wage for every preschool worker!
Is PFA now universal?
Yes! Preschool for All covers all kids. As with the previous UP NOW plan, the program involves a multi-year rollout, with priority given to kids from BIPOC families identified as high-need in early years. Preschool would be fully universal and free for every kid by 2030.
Will PFA be good for child care workers?
Yes! Preschool For All mandates no less than $18/hour in 2020 dollars for assistant teachers, and wages for lead teachers on par with kindergarten teachers, who currently make much more.
In addition, workers will receive cost of living adjustments (COLA) based on the County’s union-negotiated COLA rate or to bring wages to 135% of the Portland metro minimum wage, whichever is greater.
Preschool for All will also include a blanket labor peace agreement that AFSCME 88, the union representing county employees, is currently in the process of negotiating.
Who will pay the tax under PFA?
Preschool For All creates a tiered tax system. For individuals, income over $125,000 will be taxed at 1.5%, while income over $250,000 will be taxed an additional 1.5%, for a total of 3%.
For couples filing jointly, the income thresholds are $200,000 for a 1.5% tax and $400,000 for a 3% tax.
In January 2026, these taxes will increase by 0.8% for both tiers.
How will PFA be implemented/roll out?
As the program builds to universality, Preschool for All will start with the children who have the least access to preschool today. This includes Black, Brown, Indigenous, and all children of color, migrant and refugee children, and more (see PFA plan for details).
If they’re so similar, why didn’t PFA merge with UP NOW, which qualified for the ballot first?
Merging the two plans and using the referral mechanism for PFA through the County allowed us to combine and build upon the strengths of each plan. By using the collaborative amendment and referral process rather than insisting on our original ballot measure language, we are now presenting a plan to voters that retains the equitable rollout of PFA and the worker protections and universal platform of UP NOW.
Is merging the plans legal?
Yes. The County has broad authority in the adoption and implementation of ballot initiatives. (This would have been true even if UP NOW had gone to the ballot in its original form.)
Like everything about 2020, this situation was unusual, but the merger with Preschool for All, and the subsequent adoption and suspension of UP NOW’s original ballot language, were enacted with available procedural maneuvers vetted by the County Attorney, as well as by UP NOW’s election attorney. It was weird, but it was by the book!