How would you spend $100k a day on Washington State’s Public Schools?

Seattle Council PTSA LogoA Message from Cassandra Johnston, President of Seattle Council PTSA in this month’s “The Issue” . . .

The focus of this month’s edition of The Issue is on how we can help improve school funding at the school, city and state levels.
As you may have heard in recent news, Washington State is being fined $100K per day for under-funding basic education. This equates to:
  • 2 teacher salaries
  • 26,667 school lunches for kids
  • A smart board for 40 classrooms

It is critical that we learn more about the issues surrounding school budgets and funding, and speak out and voice our concerns as a community. Below are three ways you can get involved and help make a difference. Thanks for your support!


1. Attend SPS Finance Presentation “Understanding the School Budget” on January 25
Have you ever wondered how school funding, staffing and budgets are determined, but never knew who to ask?  The Seattle Public Schools Finance team is excited to present an evening dedicated to understanding the school budget process.
They’ll share helpful information such as when the 2016-17 school planning dates occur, an overview of the budgeting process and how funding is determined and schools are staffed, and information regarding class sizes and the process for parent involvement.
The event will be Monday, January 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the auditorium of the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (JSCEE). More information is available on the SPS website.

2. Come to WSPTSA Focus Day in Olympia on February 3
If we ever hope to see full funding of basic education and address our other shared WSPTA legislative priorities, legislators need to see and hear from us. Please join the collective voices of PTA members from across the state on Wednesday, February 3 in Olympia. Rally on the steps at noon and meet with your legislators. Last year, PTA members from Seattle turned out to Focus Day in record numbers, and we had a big impact.

Register and learn more. Visit the event registration page to register to attend Focus Day 2016 and get more details.
Get involved. If you plan to attend and/or want to be involved in helping to rally others, contact your PTA’s legislative/advocacy chair or Eden Mack, SCPTSA legislative chair at 206-240-6648.

3. Support the Upcoming City Levies and Vote on February 9

In February 2016, Seattle voters will be asked to preserve funding for our 52,000 Seattle Public Schools students and their 97 schools. 
The three-year Operations Levy replaces the current Operations Levy, which is critical to ensuring a quality education for our kids. It provides over 25 percent of the basic funds needed to operate Seattle’s public schools –money that benefits every one of our students that the State does not provide. 
The six-year Buildings, Technology and Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy replaces the BTA III capital levy approved by Seattle voters in 2010. BTA IV will provide funds for upgrades and renovations of our aging school facilities on a planned and predictable timeline to help ensure a safe, secure teaching and learning environment.
Families can help support the levies by endorsing, volunteering or donating to the campaign. Please take the time to review the levy information and remember to vote on February 9Your support is critical to the educational experience and success of your child and to the 52,000 students in our district.
For more information about the levies and how you can support the campaign, watch the above video and visit the Schools First website.