School funding 101: A recap

On February 4 our PTA welcomed the West Seattle community to a meeting at Genesee Hill Elementary to learn about public school funding and how to support improvements at local schools.

View event slides

View KOMO news coverage

View West Seattle Blog coverage

Seattle Medium coverage

View event handout – School Funding Resource Cheat Sheet

In addition to West Seattle PTA groups, the event included Seattle School Board President Liza Rankin and Vivian van Gelder, Advocacy and Policy Manager for the Seattle Council PTSA.

Prior to the event, our PTA  shared some facts about how much money Parent Teacher Associations in Seattle spend to augment education for public school students.  This year, Seattle elementary school PTAs subsidize the Seattle School District with more than $4,000,000.

There is an underlying funding problem driving PTAs to pay for staff. PTAs pay for basic staff positions at forty-three of the sixty-three Seattle public elementary schools.  That means about 70% of schools, receive an average of  $101,000 per school from their PTAs, most of it to provide nurses, counsellors, and academic interventionists, such as math and reading specialists.  Despite big dollars, PTA funding is only partially filling gaps. GHE still has a half time counselor which is below the state funding model.

Private funding for public schools is neither sustainable nor equitable.  With such basic needs going unmet, PTA money for staffing is commonplace. 

Our PTA advocacy group organized School Funding 101 to help educate and connect the West Seattle community. We invite you to watch the recording, review our slides, and connect with your local PTA group to make a difference. 

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