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SPS community meetings

Seattle Public Schools school closure public meetings

Closures would happen starting September 2025

A week after the Seattle School Board directed Superintendent Brent Jones to draft a plan to close as many as 20 elementary schools in the city, causing thousands of kids and staff to shift buildings, SPS announced a series of community meetings in May and June. The meetings are a continuation of the “well-resourced schools” theme launched last year and earlier this spring: What is needed to create and ensure “a system of well-resourced schools” in Seattle? 

Can’t join a meeting in person? A community meeting will be held via Zoom on June 4 from 6-7:30 pm. The link to the Zoom will be posted on the SPS website by June 3. Go to seattleschools.org/news/wrs-community-meetings.

For a recap of past meetings and useful input about the closure scenario in Seattle Public Schools, check out this informative coverage from The Seattle Times.

The SPS well-resourced schools webpage has more about what the district and community have said about the elements of well-resourced schools.

Dealing with a deficit

One thing needed is clear: The district needs cash. Seattle Public School is looking at a $100 million budget gap moving into the next school year and a continued deficit if things don’t change. The closures are intended to help balance the budget, although detractors say they are a band-aid and won’t fix longer-term financial concerns.

School closure anxiety

According to the SPS meeting announcement, “During these meetings, senior leaders will share information about the proposed plan for creating a system of well-resourced schools that serve kindergarten through 5th grade students.

“A system of well-resourced elementary schools will create a new foundation of stability and consistency that our students and staff need to thrive,” the announcement said.

In other words, there will likely be talk about building closures during the four community meetings — whether by district choice or by anxious parents likely to bring up the cuts. For the past year, parent groups like All Together for Seattle Schools have been pushing the district to re-think closures as a solution to its budget crisis. The district has yet to name which schools will be shut down.

Parent group wants alternatives

All Together is urging SPS to “show their work now: what schools may close; how it will improve student outcomes and racial equity; how it will close the budget gap; and what alternatives they explored.” 

In a letter to the Seattle School Board, members of All Together for Seattle Schools urged the board to change its Well-Resourced School proposal and process:

“It has been developed without authentic and thorough community participation,” the group wrote. “We urge the district to take a truly collaborative approach that puts families, students, and educators at the center of the process and consults with the wider public. We urge the district to provide several different alternatives for solving the district’s budget challenges rather than a single plan. 

We are all in this together, and we all must work together to solve the district’s financial needs in ways that support students and lift up the wider community. The current approach does not achieve this.”

In it’s meeting announcement, district officials said the goal of the district “is that all schools would include the elements that many of our families, staff, and students said were important during the Well-Resourced Schools Engagement Sessions last fall and earlier this spring.”

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