No school closures recommended for 2024-25, Seattle superintendent says
Nov 15, 2023, 5:09 PM
(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)
No Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will be closed or consolidated next year under a proposal from the Superintendent.
The plan was posted online ahead of Wednesday’s school board meeting and relied on short-term loans and “liquidating assets” to deal with a $105 million budget gap that is only expected to grow in the coming years.
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Seattle Public School’s Superintendent Brent Jones’ proposal hints school closures and consolidations could be on the table in the following school year. While no schools will be merged or closed from 2023 to 2024, officials said this “accommodation” may include future closures or consolidations.
It notes that enrolment between 2019 and 2023 dropped by nearly 5000 students, and because funding is allotted by the number of students, this means that there will be less money coming from the state’s education budget.
No significant increase in enrolment is expected over the next decade.
While the plan acknowledges the need for neighborhood schools, the state allocates funding based on the idea that there are about 400 students in an elementary school. Seattle has more than two dozen elementary schools with less than 300 children.
“SPS is working to right-size the number of schools to accommodate lower student enrollment,” a spokesperson told KIRO 7. “Superintendent Jones has based his decision not only on financial realities but also shared community priorities and values learned from community engagement.”
The school board’s full presentation is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, and can be seen on their YouTube.
Contributing KIRO 7