Seattle Mayor announces $95 million investment for K-12 education

Aug 31, 2020, 3:03 PM
Chris Ramsey and his sons, Charlie Ramsey, 4, and Carson Ramsey, 8, check out the free books available at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School on March 18, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Monday that the City of Seattle will invest nearly $95 million dollars over six years in K-12 educational supports through the Department of Education and Early Learning’s (DEEL) School-Based Investments (SBI).

In addition, DEEL has awarded $4.9 million over three years to expanded learning and college and career readiness programs.

Both investment packages are funded through the voter approved Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise levy, and will fund programs beginning this school year.

“At the City, we took a hard look at our investments so that we could best serve Seattle students furthest from educational justice,” Durkan said. “We know that access to high-quality education is crucial to closing the opportunity gap and setting students on a path to good-paying jobs.”

The investments, Durkan added, are focused on programs that address race-based disparities in education and “push Seattle closer to achieving true educational justice.”

“Students, parents, and educators are being forced to adapt to unprecedented situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our investments are addressing schools and students who may be most disproportionately impacted by virtual learning,” Durkan said.

King County health officer: Still a chance schools could resume in person in 2020

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau says the district is pleased with the educational supports from the city.

“Our educators and staff work to provide the very best education to all students, with a particular focus on students furthest from educational justice,” Juneau said. “This grant puts even more muscle behind the effort, and we’re very grateful for the City’s partnership.”

The SBI will be invested in a total of 30 schools over the next six years. As compared to the previous Families and Education levy, this investment places a greater emphasis on college and career readiness to establish a clear connection from preschool, to high school, to post-secondary through the Seattle Promise program. The Seattle Promise program offers two free years of tuition, or up to 90 credits, to all public high school graduates. It will also expand high school investments across all grade levels, whereas the previous levy exclusively served ninth-grade students.

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Seattle Mayor announces $95 million investment for K-12 education