Friday, May 3rd 2019
Good News from Olympia!
The legislative session in Olympia ended Sunday, April 28. Thank you to our hard-working Seattle legislative delegation, families, staff, and community partners who have been fighting hard to ensure our students have the supports and services they need.
Due to legislative action, beginning in 2020, we will be able to collect $3000 per student from our local, voter-approved Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy. This is an increase of $500 per student. Thank you to Seattle voters who overwhelmingly supported the EP&O levy in February and for proactively approving a higher levy collection. This allowed the district to take swift action in response to the Legislature’s levy policy adjustment.
The restored levy revenue will help us address a portion of the 40 million dollar budget shortfall for school year 2019-20 and replace staff reductions due to the budget deficit. Additional dollars generated from our levy will restore librarians, counselors, teachers, and assistant principals to our schools. Other staff reductions, including those related to declining enrollment and at the central office, will move forward.
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, but work is still needed in areas like special education.