News Roundup: Seattle School Board Approves Proposal to Repurpose Child Care Space
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
Last night, the Seattle School Board voted to approve a proposal to reclaim classroom space from 19 afterschool programs located on-site in Seattle elementary schools.
The board-approved proposal requires that the affected programs are notified that they will be losing their space by Feb. 3.
Only Board Director Scott Pinkham voted against the proposal.
School’s Out Washington records indicate that there are just short of a hundred afterschool programs located within Seattle Public Schools’ buildings.
The Seattle news media has been covering the issue, recognizing both the impact that this will have on working parents and that the need for extra classroom space is real.
- KUOW reported on the issue before the vote last night. They interviewed one parent, Andrea Dos Santos, who has kids in a program at West Woodland Elementary. She said if that program closes, “… that would be ‘I think I need to quit my job’ kind of impact. And I know I’m not the only one in that situation.”
- The Seattle Times reported after the vote that 19 additional classrooms is just the tip of the iceberg. Seattle schools could need up to 65 more classrooms to accommodate Seattle’s growing population, and to deal with new class size requirements taking affect in 2017. A maximum of 17 students per teacher for the youngest school-age children will be required, as reported by King 5.
The proposal included an amendment with some positive language as we move forward. The amendment states that:
- The District shall create a timeline to engage with the 19 communities affected by the decision and help find creative solutions to preserve child care space on-site or nearby;
- Superintendent Nyland is directed to bring forward for review by the Board options to engage community in future capacity management decision, such as a committee or task force.
As we anticipate more enrollment growth and K-3 class size reduction implementation, we know this issue is not going away. We appreciate the intent of the amendment to ensure that families and community members are part of the solution rather than on the receiving end of decisions that negatively impact our day to day lives.
School’s Out Washington and our community partners will be closely engaged with Seattle Public Schools and holding them accountable to their promise to find ways to include community in finding solutions that prevent similar situations as what we’ve faced this past month. Seattle School Board Directors need to continue hearing concerns about this issue and that even though the proposal passed, we need to find short and long-term solutions to address the immediate impact and plan for future capacity issues.
Visit the Seattle School Board website to find out when your School Director representative will be hosting their next community meeting. This is a great space to share concerns and meet your Director face to face.
Please stay tuned for more information as this process moves forward, and if you have questions or would like to speak further on this issue, contact David Beard, Policy & Advocacy Director.
Posted in:| Permalink | Share: Facebook Twitter
← Next Post Previous Post →