All posts by Genesee Hill PTA

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. 

BLM at School Week of Action: Feb 5-19

Did you know that Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action was started here in Seattle? That’s right, we can be proud that this awesome week is a widespread tradition with local roots. Read more here. While teachers will be delivering lessons throughout the week, families are invited to participate in a week of learning and celebration!

Opportunities to Learn and Celebrate:

Poster Decorating Event 2/2: Please join us to kick-off Black Lives Matter at School Week by decorating the school with signs of support. Parents and their students will meet after school in the teacher’s lounge on Friday, February 2nd from 2:30-3:30 pm. We will also include some take-home supplies in the foyer and share poster-making supplies with the aftercare program. This is an opportunity to be in community with one another and elevate the week for our students. We hope you can join us!  

Celebrate at Home: Check out the BLM at School Week Virtual Living Room (courtesy of Everyday Revolutionary Parenting) with a focus on learning around microaggressions. From fun educational resources for kids, to curated resources for adults – there’s something for everyone! Also, review the weekly challenges that the Family Committee for Equity and Inclusion created in 2021: Inclusive Bookshelf Reading ChallengeSupport Black-Owned BusinessesCelebrate Black Excellence & Joy.  Make sure to carve out some time each day to dive in with your students.

Wear BLM Gear Friday 2/9: Show your BLM pride by wearing your BLM gear or any black t-shirt to school.

Gathering for Black Families: Calling all Black families/families of Black students! Are you interested in coming together to build community? If so, please share your contact info and availability here. Once we gauge how many families are interested, we’ll plan a time to gather to support each other and our kids. This is an affinity event for Black families/families of Black students at Genesee Hill.

January monthly newsletter

Hello PTA members, 

We hope this message finds you staying warm on these colder days. We can not believe it is already mid January. These past few months we have loved spending time in community with each of you. Whether celebrating at the Fall Festival, sharing traditional cuisine and stories at Unity Night, or hearing your voices at our last general membership meeting, we have felt a deep appreciation for your engagement.


January news briefs

Save the date: Upcoming PTA General Membership Meetings

The next PTA general membership meeting is Jan 22, 6-8 pm at the school. Additional meetings are set for Wednesday, March 13 and Thursday, June 13. We value inclusion and access for all participants and are pleased to provide reasonable accommodations for these meetings. Please contact to make a reasonable accommodation request. People with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may call 832-868-6409 in advance of the meeting.

Lunar New Year Celebration on Friday, Feb. 9, 6-7:30 pm

Please join the fun atour Genesee Hill Lunar New Year Celebration! We will have activities, snacks, lion dancers, and the opportunity for those who don’t celebrate to learn more about this holiday that is so important to many in our community. We need many hands to make this event a success, so keep an eye out for the volunteer sign-up form!

Volunteer Opportunities

We have an ongoing need for extra recess support! Thanks to the help of several regular volunteers, we have three days of the week pretty well covered. Our greatest need is Monday and Thursday, between 11:10 and 11:50. Please sign up HERE!

PTA Focus Day in Olympia

Join GHE families for the Washington State PTA’s Focus Day in Olympia on January 15th (MLK Day).  Kids are welcome and encouraged to attend.  We are aiming to participate in all the day’s events including a tour of the Capitol, a reception with Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck, and visits with our state legislators. If you are interested in joining the group, please find more information and links to register here: PTA Focus Day or email with questions.

Benefit for Sanislo Elementary

Tim Turner Band and Friends will perform at Skylark Café Friday, Jan. 12 to benefit Sanislo Elementary. Doors open at 7 and music starts at 8 pm. Adult entry is $15 and kids are free.