Last week, School Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson released a statement to all Seattle Public School families about the $36.6 million dollar budget shortfall for the 2011-12 school year. As a consequence, the School Board is faced with making decisions about what to fund and what to cut. Right now, there are two action items that require immediate public attention: one is for Seattle Public School families and the other is for homeowners citywide.
Today, Seattle Public Schools released a survey for parents of incoming Kindergarten students, pertaining to tuition. As it stands, the fee is $207 per month for full day Kindergarten. SPS would like to raise the tuition to $310 per month, keeping the tuition waiver for those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
If you have a future Kindergartner, SPS asks that you fill out the survey by Wednesday, February 16 at 3:00 p.m. They’ll still continue to accept survey responses through Friday, but the School Board meets on Wednesday night for a budget work session, and they’ll be using the responses that have been completed through the Wednesday deadline. You can complete the survey by clicking here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HYTDGHZ.
The second piece of news is from the Seattle City Council office: On Thursday night, from 5:30-8:30, there will be a public hearing on the Proposed Families and Education Levy renewal, sponsored by Councilmember Tim Burgess. The proposed ordinance would put a ballot measure before voters this coming November that would authorize the City to lift the limit on regular property taxes and levy additional taxes for up to seven years to provide funding for the Seattle School District, specifically, according to the ordinance:
…for the purpose of providing Seattle School District No. 1 public school students, Seattle children, and their families education-support services designed to improve academic achievement; authorizing creation of a new subfund; creating an oversight committee; and authorizing implementing agreements for this levy lid lift commonly known as the Families and Education Levy.
Estimated annual costs were broken out in a statement released by Councilmember Burgess:
The estimated annual cost to a homeowner of the new Levy will be $124.33 in 2012 (the first year), rising to $126.21 in 2018 (the last year). This estimate is based on an average residential assessed value of $462,045 in 2012 and of $567,971 in 2018. In any year, the monthly cost of the Levy to a homeowner will be a little more than $10 – about what we pay today for a movie ticket.
You can read the entire Council Bill (No. 117103) by clicking here.
Lastly, SPS Open Enrollment has been extended through April 15, so the new dates are March 15 – April 15. Click here for more details.