Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools Budget: Supporting Students Together

Summary: To achieve a balanced budget, we know we must make changes. We are approaching these decisions in a thoughtful way.

Important March 2024 Update

Principals are developing their building’s budget for the next school year. Budgets are like road maps for schools. They guide us as we work to prioritize inclusive and high-quality education for our students. 

Our main goal is to make sure your student gets a great education, even when we face challenges. Right now, we’re dealing with a $104 million budget shortfall. This happened because Washington state is facing an educational funding gap, and there are fewer students enrolled at SPS. We also no longer have some funds we received in the past. 

To achieve a balanced budget, we know we must make changes. We are approaching these decisions in a thoughtful way to ensure we minimize negative impacts on student learning. 

Here are some things you should know: 

  • How We Plan: Every February, school funding is determined by student enrollment projections for next year. Schools use a guide called the Purple Book to plan. You can find it on our budget webpage.  
  • Working Together: Schools are working with their communities to plan budgets that match their continuous improvement and racial equity action plans.  
  • Changes Coming: All principals will have less money for discretionary spending in their budgets. Middle schools and high schools may see some small changes in staffing, leading to slightly bigger class sizes. These changes will help save about $7.3 million. 
  • Community Voice Matters: This month, we are hosting several equity-focused, small group discussions with our students and families. Later this spring, we will be hosting well-resourced schools informational meetings for all families, staff, and community. 
  • What’s Next: Our superintendent is looking at more ways to fix the budget. On March 20, the School Board will hear a status update for 2024-25 budget from the central office leadership team. The School Board will decide on the budget in July. 

Find more information on the budget webpage.

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