Due to financial difficulties brought on by declining student enrollments, a Seattle school district is being compelled to lay off staff.
The financial imbalance at Seattle Public Schools led to the notification of certain staff workers that they may lose their jobs, the district said on Tuesday.
No Funding No Enrollment
At a meeting of the school board on Tuesday night, Dr. Brent Jones, the superintendent of SPS, stated this week, several employee letters concerning being considered for “RIF” and displacement had been sent out.
The board stated its “structural deficit” has increased to $131 million and is at a “tipping point” in terms of its deficit.
They also mentioned the funding of transportation without passengers and the expiry of their one-time federal and state funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER).
“Go Woke Go Broke” – Bet Seattle public schools never saw that coming! 😎 pic.twitter.com/gcOeQdS4a1
— Texas Border Surfer (@ArmyVet57) March 2, 2023
The board said labor expenses are “much greater than state and municipal funds” in addition to the already unfavorable conditions.
Among the several goals of the district’s “plan to fiscal sustainability,” Jones described “aggressively” seeking new or increased income streams.
The district’s declining enrollment pattern is the most prominent problem. The board claims that enrollment had decreased during the fiscal year 2013–14, but personnel levels have gone up to better serve the needs of children.
The board now anticipates a downward trend in enrollment.
Seattle Public Schools said amid declining enrollment they are considering possibly consolidating and closing some schools by the start of the 2024-25 school year.https://t.co/dqzUpOrqWQ
— KOMO News (@komonews) March 1, 2023
A few members of the board voiced concerns regarding the effects of the workforce reductions on student results.
However, according to District 7 Education Board Director Brandon K. Hersey, some of these cuts or, more precisely, programming adjustments may have little to no effect on student results.
Hersey recommended that in order to ensure a “streamlined fair approach,” standards and limitations should be set on the minimum level of services that the district is capable of offering.
Declines and Scores
According to statistics gathered by the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE), a research group at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the number of homeschooled pupils in the state has nearly quadrupled since 2019.
According to CRPE data, the enrollment in the Seattle Public School District has been on a decline since the epidemic closures. On top of that, this trend is predicted to last through 2028.
According to CRPE, from 2019 to 2021, enrollment in private schools climbed by 10% a year on average, enrollment in homeschooling went up by 27% annually, and enrollment in charter schools went up by 28% annually.
According to the Nation’s Report Card, average math scores dropped the most ever across the board from 2019 to 2022, by eight points for eighth-graders and five points for fourth-graders, respectively.
Reading proficiency suffered substantial setbacks during the COVID-19 epidemic, with scores falling to levels last seen in 1992 and falling three points for both grades in just two years.This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.