The urgent issue: All Seattle Public Schools (including Coe) are facing a budget crisis for next year due to a levy lid at the state level which won’t allow SPS to use all the funds that voters previously passed. To put this in context, in previous years SPS has spent $4,000 additional per student through the levy funding. If the lid is not lifted, SPS will only be able to spend $2,500 per student which means teachers will be cut, critical programs won’t run and our schools will be more overcrowded with less resources. For example, our fourth and fifth grades next year will be over 30 students per class (up from 23 now), our math specialist has been reduced to 0, Special Education, ELL and PCP Specialists have all been reduced and our Assistant Principal will be reduced to half time.
How this will impact Coe is outlined in the “From The Principal” section of this week’s Coe Bulletin. Link: Bulletin – Mar 6 2019.pdf
What can you do? We need you to email state senators TODAY to urge them to lift the levy so our kids and all children in SPS can get the critical funding they need. There is a senate bill SB5313 which may be able to help move the needle. Scroll down for a sample email and a list of senators to send it to (including senators who represent Seattle and the chair of the Ways & Means Committee) so you can cut and paste and then customize.
What else can you do? Please forward to all your friends and encourage them to call and email.
Please scroll down for sample letter and list of email recipients. Thank you for your help and for being a member of the PTA. Our next meeting is Thursday, March 14th from 7:00-8:15pm in the Kearns Library.
Thank you for supporting Coe,
JT Telzrow, Portia Langworthy, Justin Allegro and Sarah Nelson
Coe PTA Executive Committee
Subject: Please lift the levy lid
All of you represent families in Seattle Public Schools. I therefore urge you to work with your fellow Senators to vote SB 5313 out of the Senate Ways & Means committee and/or find another way to lift the levy lid. I am a parent of a child in Seattle Public Schools, and if the levy lid is not lifted in this budget cycle, our already underfunded district will face a $40 million budget shortfall. Lifting the levy lid is needed just to maintain our already underfunded schools at the same level of funding they have now, so that Seattle Public Schools and other districts do not face massive budget shortfalls. We need to fully fund counselors, librarians, nurses, social workers, and special education. Seattle voters have passed continuation levies and are willing to pay the taxes to fund our public schools. Please make sure their votes count!
In the long term, we should not be relying on levies for school funding, but in the short term, the legislature is still not adequately funding “basic education.” It seems that this has already been recognized with regard to Special Ed funding this session, but the narrow definition of “basic education” needs to be revisited. As you are aware, many school districts are facing huge shortfalls, including SPS.
Please do what you can to get SB 5313 moved forward for a vote by the full Senate.
Thanks for your consideration and support.