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    Seattle Public Schools Budget Update
    Posted on 04/29/2019
    Graphic with text 2019-20 budget update

    Seattle Public Schools Budget Update

    The Legislative session in Olympia ended on Sunday, April 28. Due to the Legislature’s actions, beginning in 2020, Seattle will be able to collect $3,000 per student from local, voter-approved funds. This will restore 12.2 million dollars directly to classrooms in the 2019-20 school year, with an estimated total increase in revenue of 16 million dollars and 28 million additional dollars to the district beginning with the 2020-21 school year. We want to thank the Seattle Legislative Delegation for their leadership on restoring this much needed local levy authority.

    This restored revenue, along with increased flexibility to use capital funds for maintenance costs, will help us address some of the 40-million-dollar budget shortfall for school year 2019-20 and support restoration of the most critical supports for our students – our school-based staff.

    Next year’s school-based cuts including librarians, counselors, and assistant principals, made due to the 2019-20 budget shortfall, will be restored. Other budget reductions, including those to central office, will move forward.

    Special Areas of Attention

    Special Education: The state’s Special Education budget increase is a down payment on a much-needed long term solution. Next year, Seattle Public Schools will receive an additional 2 million dollars for special education. Annually, the district spends 70 million dollars of local levy funds to provide the services our students need. While we appreciate the increase for Special Education, we continue to have grave concerns about the State’s slow pace in fully funding Special Education as is required by law.

    Capital budget: Thanks to the work of our legislative delegation, Seattle Public Schools received 18 million dollars for additional classroom construction at Leschi Elementary and Madison Middle Schools, and funding for HVAC system improvements at North Beach Elementary School in the state’s approved budget.

    With sweeping changes to Washington’s K-12 funding model, it should be expected that ongoing refinement and improvements will need to be made. The Legislature’s levy collection increase for Seattle is a good step in the right direction. District staff and our school board will continue to advocate for all of Washington state’s publicly educated students. All students should have the opportunity to have a great education that sets them up for future success.