Many students of color face opportunity gaps and disproportionate discipline. While SPS is making progress in some areas, more must be done. I will fight to fund solutions, including restorative justice programs, equitably delivered opportunities, and meaningful investments in Ethnic Studies and Since Time Immemorial curricula.
Fiscally and academically responsible investments
Cutting teachers is devastating for schools. We need budgets based on real numbers, not artificially low projections. Otherwise, we cut teachers in the spring only to scramble to hire replacements in the fall. We must invest in classroom teachers, Special Education staff, counselors, and librarians. Read my response to our current enrollment crisis here.
We need to hold the district accountable. Seattle Public Schools has a legal obligation to provide appropriate services to every student, and staff cannot be allowed to play fast and loose with the rules—they must follow the District’s published policies and procedures. We can change policy and procedures if they don’t work, but we can’t just ignore them.
Every day, public schools around Seattle and the region are succeeding in big and small ways. We need to learn from those successes and bring those solutions to all of Seattle Public Schools so that everyone benefits. We can close the opportunity gap sooner if we share teachers’ successes with students and schools’ successes with their community. Working with communities to replicate successful programs will help restore trust in the district.
I believe that Seattle Public Schools can provide a top-notch education for every one of our students, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or ability. SPS must provide options for students who aren’t served well by their neighborhood school. We need flexibility in enrollment and programs to allow students to attend the public school that best suits their needs.
A 4-year college degree is not the only route to success after high school graduation. Many students might choose a living wage job in the skilled trades instead. All students can benefit from learning how to work with tools, regardless of their career choice. Every student should have access to hands-on classes in middle and high school.
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