Public Education Funding Crisis

From Danial Clark (Cascadia PTA)

Education Funding Crisis
Seattle Public Schools are facing a budget crisis with a looming levy cliff. The State has given school districts all across Washington a double whammy this year. They have failed to fully fund basic education as originally promised by the start of 2018 (i.e. the 2017-18 school year) AND they have legislative that the amount that local districts can collect from local “operations” levies is being reduced by the start of 2018. As a result, the Seattle School District is facing an estimated $74 million shortfall for school year 2017-18.

Every person in our community is encouraged to make calls and send emails to your elected officials asking them to take steps to extend the “Levy Cliff” through the end of 2018 and commit to full funding of staff compensation for the 2017-2018 school year. It is imperative they fully fund public schools so Districts across the state won’t lay off teachers this spring.

Three action steps you can take immediately:

1. Call Governor Inslee right now at (360) 902-4111 and ask him to fully fund public schools so they don’t lay off teachers this spring.

2. Email the Governor by clicking here: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/

3. Email or call your legislators. Look up you legislators by clicking here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/, and find your legislators contact information by clicking here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/Rosters/Members/Senate

Key talking points for every call and email:

• Act by March 2017 to extend the “Levy Cliff” through the end of 2018

• Commit to full funding of staff compensation for the 2017-18 school year

• Fully fund public schools so they don’t lay off teachers and cut programs this spring
Resources with additional information about the budget crisis:

• SPS District Budget Deficit webpage, with additional details regarding the budget deficit, budget development timeline, and actions you can take: http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=16682292

• Washington Paramount Duty: http://paramountduty.org/

• 2017 Levy Cliff Impact analysis: http://www.k12.wa.us/SAFS/default.asp

• Washington State Board of Education: http://www.sbe.wa.gov/legislative.php#.WEiGh4WcGM8

• Learn more about PTA advocacy at: http://scptsa.org/advocacy/

Community Budget Gap MeetingsBetween Dec. 5, 2016 and Jan. 4, 2017 the District will continue to solicit feedback on budget priorities from staff, families, and community partners. The Seattle Council PTSA is hosting three regional meetings for families to provide feedback on budget priorities:

• Tuesday, December 13, Ballard High School, 6:30 -8 p.m.; 1418 NW 65th St Seattle, WA 98117

• Thursday, December 15, South Shore PreK-8 School, 6:30-8 p.m.; 4800 S Henderson St Seattle, WA 98118

• Tuesday, January 3, Franklin High School, 6:30-8 p.m.; 3013 S Mt Baker Blvd Seattle, WA 98144
Focus Day, January 16, Olympia WA

Please consider attending Focus Day to rally with parents, teachers and community members