Education Funding Crisis
The Seattle Public Schools system is 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, through further legislative inaction, 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.
If you disagree with these cuts, you can contact your representative and or email the governor. However, the legislators who have blocked additional funding live outside of Seattle and are part of the majority coalition in the Senate. If you want to make your voice heard, you can find their contact information here. If you have family or friends in those districts please have them contact their representative in support of public school funding.
2017 Focus Day Activities
Join other Salmon Bay families and teachers at PTA Focus Day in Olympia (Monday, January 16, 2017) to show support for public education and the whole child. In addition to getting the chance to meet directly with your state representatives and network with other PTA advocates, there will be a rally on the Capitol steps at 10:30 a.m., co-hosted by WSPTA and many of our education funding allies including the Washington Education Association, NAACP, Washington’s Paramount Duty and others. The Focus Day Agenda can be found here.
NOTE: There’s no need to sign up for anything, just head down and join us. Parking is difficult and you may want to bring a lunch.
Thanks to Erin for setting up a google doc for carpooling. Please sign up if you intend to drive and can fit extra folks in your car:
As of Monday (1/9) Seattle Council PTSA has room on a charter bus for Focus Day. Several Salmon Bay families will be using the bus:
36th District Meetings:
11:30am – (Senate Hearing Room 2) 36th District meeting with Senator Reuven Carlyle
1:15pm-1:35pm (Waiting for Room Confirmation) 36th District meeting with Representative Noel Frame
2:00pm-2:20pm (Legislative Building, Room 429A) 36th District meeting with Representative Gael Tarleton
8:00am (Columbia Room) – Registration opens. Be sure to register by January 9 to receive your free WSPTA Top 5 t-shirt
9:00am (Columbia Room) – Overview of the day, build signs.
10:30am – Join the rally on the capitol steps
11:15am – Advocacy at the local level and WSPTA legislative discussions, with lunch (register by 1/9 to reserve and pay for your lunch)
12:00pm (Rotunda) – Listen to Governor Inslee, SPI Reykdal, & WSPTA President Barbara Martin
12:45pm (Columbia Room) – Discussions on how to communicate with legislators in Olympia and in your home district
1:30pm – Meet with your legislators, if you did not in the morning
3:30pm – Adjourn
Contact Scott Koch at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Focus Day and carpooling opportunities.
MLK Day Rally & March
For families not attending Focus Day for Salmon Bay, please join us to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and continue the work at the MLK Day Celebration. We will identify a meet-up point for Salmon Bay families to attend the march together. The rally begins at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium of Garfield High, and we will meet to march together following the rally. Check next week’s bulletin for an exact meeting location. Please contact Erin or Danielle with questions.