Southeast Seattle Education Coalition

Protect and Hold Harmless Title 1 Schools in 2016-2017 Budget

The following letter was sent to the Seattle School Board and senior staff regarding the upcoming budget situation. Please see the links below for more background information. We will continue to keep you up-to-date on developments.

Dear Seattle School Board Members,

The Southeast Seattle Education Coalition is asking you to prioritize high-poverty Title I schools and hold them harmless from budget cuts. While all children in Seattle Public Schools are important, children living in poverty face persistent challenges that require additional support. Cutting support would further exacerbate current inequities and negatively change the life path of many of our most vulnerable students, especially students of color. As you consider your choices, please protect the weighted student staffing formulas and keep class sizes lower in Title I schools. Particularly when students need extra support, smaller class sizes are critical for both students and the educators working with them.

The District’s important work to eliminate the opportunity gap must continue. In order to close the opportunity gap we are asking you to prioritize programs explicitly working towards this goal. Please do not ask schools to take across-the-board cuts. Doing so may be equal, in formula but it is not equity. Things such as student-teacher ratios and support staff (e.g. bilingual instructional aides, counselors, family support workers, etc.) are more critical in schools with students with higher concentrations of poverty and students of color.

We know you have many difficult choices ahead of you, using the District’s racial equity tool to guide those choices will help you continue the work already started around eliminating the opportunity gap. We also ask for transparency in how the racial equity tool is used in this budget making process.

We know eliminating the opportunity gap is a priority for the Seattle School Board. We must protect the gains we’ve made AND continue the work. Students of color cannot wait for budget situations to improve. It isn’t enough to hold the line – we must help them make gains if we want all of our students to have the opportunities they need to succeed.


Erin Okuno
Executive Director

SESEC Partners

Community Based Organization Members
America SCORES Seattle
The Arc of King County
Asian Counseling and Referral Services
Campana Quetzal
Catholic Community Services/Youth Tutoring Program
Center for East African Community Affairs
Chinese Information and Service Center
Community in Schools of Seattle
Denise Louie Education Center
East African Community Services
El Centro de la Raza
The eMode Learning Foundation
Equity in Education Coalition
Ethiopian Community Center in Seattle
Families of Color Seattle
Filipino Community of Seattle
Gender Diversity
Greater Seattle Techbridge
Horn of Africa Services
Multicultural Education Rights Alliance
Neighborhood House
Open Doors at Multicultural Families
Othello Park Alliance
Parents for Student Success
Rainier Beach Community Club
Rainier Beach High School PTSA
Rainier Scholars
Rainier Valley Corps
Refugee Women’s Alliance
Salaam Urban Village Association
Seattle Chinese Alliance Church
Somali Community Services Coalition
Somali Community Services of Seattle
Somali Family Safety Task Force
Somali Youth and Family Club
STEM Paths Innovation Network
Successful Youth, Inc.
Team Read
Urban Impact
Vietnamese Friendship Association

School Members
Aki Kurose Middle School
Dearborn Park International School
Dunlap Elementary
Graham Hill Elementary
Kimball Elementary
Maple Elementary School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary
Rainier Beach High School
South Shore K-8
Summit Public Schools
Wing Luke Elementary

AWE Digital Learning Solutions
Bellevue School District
Child Care Resources
City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods
City of Seattle, Race and Social Justice Initiative
City Year
Civics for All Initiative
College Success Foundation
Community & Parents for Public Schools
Equity Matters
Future Foundation International
Governor Inslee’s Office
Helping Link
Office of Congressman Adam Smith
PEARL Legacy
Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable
Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition
Rainier Beach High School Foundation
Rainier Chamber of Commerce
Reparations Law
Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
The Seattle Public Library
Seattle Public Schools School Family Partnerships
Seattle Public Schools School and Community Partnerships
Service Learning Seattle – Seattle Public Schools
Solid Ground
Teachers United
Teach for America Seattle/Tacoma
Tiny Trees Preschool
Washington Asset Building Coalition
World Mind Creation Academy
YMCA Powerful Schools

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1 thought on “Protect and Hold Harmless Title 1 Schools in 2016-2017 Budget”

  1. Thank you so much for this letter! As PTA co-president at Concord International Elementary School, I have been trying to circulate a similar message. Is there any way we can be added as a co-signed?
    Thank you!


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