The city of Seattle’s left-wing policies are having serious negative consequences for its schools — causing officials to come face-to-face with shutting down a list of schools as parents flee the area, taking their kids with them and leaving far fewer children left to attend.
Seattle is dealing with a huge budget shortfall
and with that, coupled with falling school enrollment, the Seattle Public School District is finding it has too many schools and employees and not enough kids.
It is so bad that senior staff recently held a workshop focused on the topic of how to “consolidate into a system of well-resourced schools,” according to The Seattle Times
The problem is so widespread, officials are now looking to close an undisclosed list of schools and consolidate districts to better handle the smaller number of students they are seeing these days, as the city devolves
into madness. And that effort would likely entail layoffs of administration and teachers alike.
Naturally, some left-wingers are upset that the district is using the term “consolidation” as a euphemism to hide the fact that they will have to close schools and layoff workers. But interim Deputy Superintendent Fred Podesta said the terminology is not meant to keep anything hidden from parents.
Podesta insisted that the term “was not meant to soft-pedal the fact that it’s likely a strategy [to balance the budget] would be closing some schools.” Podesta went on to say the district believes that “consolidating into larger schools that have the resources they need is a good strategy whether you have money problems or not.”
Podesta noted that they are also trying to devise ways to “preserve resources in schools,” adding, “That’s the main thing for people to know.”
The Seattle public schools have seen a drop of around 3,000 students since 2019 with 50,056 now enrolled, and are projecting that enrollment could fall to as few as 45,000 students over the next five years. The paper also reported that current enrollment is less than half the number of students that were enrolled in SPSD in the 1960s.
The reason for the decline seems to be two-fold. One is the growing problem of outward migration as citizens sell their homes and move away from the disastrous left-wing policies making Seattle a worse place to live each year. According to a survey
from last year, Seattle ranked among the ten U.S. cities losing the most citizens.
With crime exploding
across the city, it is not surprising that people are fleeing the once great municipality.
The Seattle Times also added that parents fleeing the school system — and putting their kids in private schools — is also a major factor. This is occurring because parents have lost confidence in the SPSD after years of frightening policies
, COVID lockdowns, and school closings
, as well as biased curriculums
all implemented just to satisfy teachers unions who refused to work during the pandemic years.
Oddly, despite these worrying demographics, the Times added that the number of SPSD employees is still rising. Yet teachers are still striking
and threatening strikes to wring even more blood from the budget stone.
But Superintendent Brent Jones warned that this is going to have to be rectified.
“If you do simple math on that — the enrollment is revenue, the staff is an expenditure,” Jones said. “If those don’t match, we have a situation.”
The Times also pointed out how lopsided this employment situation is as it intersects with the budget. The SPSD has an annual budget of $1.14 billion, but 80 percent of that is spent on salaries and benefits for district employees, not kids. That is an obvious place to start cutting costs.
The Seattle teachers union heavily pushed “remote learning,”
which has since been shown to be less effective and even damaging
to a child’s education. But teachers are not hired based on their remote learning skills. They are hired on their in-person, classroom skills. So, it seems fitting that some of them may end up looking for other work as parents flee the city or pull kids out of the public schools in favor of sending them to private schools that don’t subject them to remote learning. The teachers unions seem to have no one but themselves to blame, here.
The Seattle Public School District is on the verge of a reckoning and will soon be forced into a course correction that is a direct result of the city’s disastrous leftist policies and the teachers unions’ disdain for education. And look for this to happen in districts across America, too.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal
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