Seattle School Board Should Delay Vote on New Preschool Program

schmitz logoSeattle Council Parent-Student-Teacher Association makes a formal request that District Staff and School Board delay the vote scheduled for Wednesday November 19th on the “P-5 Schools aligned with Seattle Preschool Program and Collaboration Grant/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation” (P-5 Alignment) action item until AFTER a formal Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) has been agreed upon between the City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools (SPS).

We ask the District and City perform their duties as custodians of tax payer dollars by disclosing the details of this partnership and ensuring the allocation of resources before signing off on this agreement. The City has repeatedly stated that this program will not take resources from the already underfunded and overcrowded Seattle Public Schools. However, as written, the P-5 Alignment Board Action contradicts this by committing District K-12 resources (facility space, Special Education, Bilingual Education, Prekindergarten professional development coaching, enrollment, and Kindergarten transition) to the City’s Preschool program. An MOU is needed BEFORE this School Board vote specifically addressing where the Preschool programs will be housed. District enrollment has been growing at a rate of around 1,000 students per year causing a severe overcrowding problems across the district. How will the District ensure that increased preschool facilities in SPS buildings actually have available classrooms (not portables) and do not encroach on already stressed lunch room and playground space for K-8 students?

The Schmitz Park PTA supports this request to see the plan and all its details before SPS signs any deals. If you do too, send a message to our Superintendent and School Board that the best way to serve our students is to delay this vote on the P-5 Alignment action item until AFTER a formal MOU is signed, and they ensure that SPS K-12 dollars and facilities will not be misdirected.

Seattle School Board

Israel Vela, Executive Director of Schools (SW)

Larry Nyland (Superintendent)

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