A Downtown Public School? Yes – with Your Help!

families(3)This November, the Seattle School Board will finalize the capital school levy, which will appear before voters in February 2013. The levy is our opportunity to secure investment to develop a school in Downtown Seattle, and the school district’s opportunity to put a plan in place to meet a growing demand. A public school in Downtown could potentially serve not only families who live Downtown, but also Seattle residents who work Downtown.

Funding has been earmarked for a Downtown Seattle public school, now we need to make sure this project (and the allocated funds) remain on the levy.

We’re urging Downtown residents, employees and employers to send an email or letter to members of the Seattle School Board to reiterate the need for a school in Downtown Seattle.

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In partnership with the City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools, DSA recently completed a study that projects significant growth in the enrollment of Downtown children in Seattle Public Schools. The number of children living in Downtown has grown by more than 70 percent in the last two decades, and today nearly 2,000 children 14 and under live in Downtown Seattle. This has led to overcrowding at John Hay Elementary School on Queen Anne, the school that a majority of Downtown children currently attend.

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Projections for the 2012-13 school year indicate that John Hay Elementary will swell to 505 students, that’s 105% over capacity.  This is not a new development for John Hay, with students actually attending class in the hallway last year, detailed in this report by KING-TV.

Among peer U.S. downtowns, Downtown Seattle has experienced the most population growth over the last two decades, but is one of the few that lacks a public elementary or K-8 school.

Let the school board members know that the upcoming levy needs to include funding for a school in Downtown.

Seattle Planning Commission Urges Including Downtown School in BEX IV Levy 

What others have been saying (excerpts from emails sent to the Seattle School Board)

Students in hallwayDowntown Seattle School in the news:

Puget Sound Business Journal: Examining the ABCs of a public school in Downtown Seattle

Queen Anne News – Op-ed: Another neighborhood school would alleviate overcrowding

Seattle Times – Seattle mayor to push for Downtown school in South Lake Union

Crosscut – A boon for Downtown’s urban parents