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    The state’s paramount duty is to fully fund public education and it has failed to do so.

    Why does Seattle Public Schools have a budget shortfall?

    The original 2017-18 $74 million budget deficit was the results of:

    Compensation, a state responsibility, which accounts for $41 million.

    The state is not fully funding education as it is constitutionally required to do. While the Legislature has started to address their obligation regarding all-day kindergarten, class size, Maintenance, Supplies and Operating Costs (MSOC), and transportation, the state has been underfunding compensation for school district staff for more than 30 years.

    The Levy Cliff, the state’s reduction of our local levy authority, accounted for $30 million.

    Normal district functions related to growth, such as opening new schools, result in an additional $3 million. This component of our budget gap, in any other year, would be addressed through normal cost saving measures.

    If you have any questions regarding the budget, please email or

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      Action You Can Take

      The district is actively lobbying our legislature to fully fund education. However, we are legally prohibited from encouraging the public to lobby on our behalf. As a district, we are committed to working transparently through our budgeting process. If you would like the budget office to present to a school or community please email or send questions to

      Learn More

      Learn more and support the Seattle School Board’s resolution to ensure full funding of public education by visiting the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools' website or visit Washington Paramount Duty. You may also connect with the Seattle Council PTSA Legislative Chair.