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Mayor Durkan Announces Nearly $100 Million in Investments in K-12 Education for Seattle Students

SEATTLE (August 31, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that the City of Seattle will invest nearly $95 million over six years in K-12 educational supports through the Department of Education and Early Learning’s (DEEL) School-Based Investments (SBI). In addition, DEEL has awarded $4.9 million over three years to expanded learning and college and career readiness programs through its Opportunity and Access investments. Both investment packages are funded through the voter-approved Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise (FEPP) levy, and will fund programs beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.

“At the City, we took a hard look at our investments so that we could best serve Seattle students furthest from educational justice. We know that access to high-quality education is crucial to closing the opportunity gap and setting students on a path to good-paying jobs,” said Mayor Durkan. “With nearly $100 million in investments, we focused on programs that address race-based disparities in education and push Seattle closer to achieving true educational justice. We’re also expanding college and career readiness programs so our students leave school prepared to enter the postsecondary pathway of their choice, including two years of free college through Seattle Promise. Students, parents, and educators are being forced to adapt to unprecedented situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our investments are addressing schools and students who may be most disproportionately impacted by virtual learning.”

“The City of Seattle and the school district have a strong partnership with the shared goal of investing in our students, their learning and their futures. Through the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise levy, these dollars were put in programs we know work that contribute to the success of our kids and their families. With strong community engagement and community oversight of these funds, the City prioritized investing in schools with students of color and English language learners, furthering equity in our public school system,” said Council President M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide).

“We’re very pleased with the City’s educational supports and the major investment of FEPP dollars,” said Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Superintendent Denise Juneau. “Our educators and staff work to provide the very best education to all students, with a particular focus on students furthest from educational justice. This grant puts even more muscle behind the effort, and we’re very grateful for the City’s partnership.”

Over the next six years, the City of Seattle’s School Based Investments will invest nearly $95 million in a total of 30 schools. As compared to the previous Families and Education levy, the FEPP SBI places a greater emphasis on college and career readiness to establish a clear connection from preschool, to high school, to postsecondary through the Seattle Promise program. In addition, FEPP SBI expands high school investments across all grade levels, whereas the FEL levy exclusively served ninth grade students.

The Mayor and DEEL’s SBI also makes deeper investments in a smaller number of schools to increase the funding’s impact. Using 2019-2020 school year enrollment data, the 30 FEPP SBI schools represent: 

  • 28% of Seattle Public Schools (SPS) total K-12 enrollment
  • 82% students of color – compared to 54% SPS overall
  • 23% English language learner students – compared to 13% SPS overall
  • 55% of all SPS Black male students

Both SBI and Opportunity and Access deliberations centered community input. Review panelists all participated in anti-bias training, prioritized equity in their application review, and community members were financially compensated for their role in the awardee selection process—a new practice for DEEL. In addition, current and former SPS high school students participated in the review process.

“Anytime we can do more for our students and their families, we jump at the chance,” said Aki Kurose Middle School Principal Caine Lowery. “With the City’s investment, it gives us more tools to dig deeper and to better serve our community.”

DEEL will also invest $4.9 million over three years through the FEPP-funded Opportunity and Access (OA) grants. These investments go toward 10 community-based organizations working in expanded learning and college and career readiness. The funded programs are expected to serve over 1,400 students furthest from educational justice. All programs will provide services to students during the 2020 – 2021 school year consistent with public health guidance and in alignment with SPS remote learning plans.

Linda Phan, Garfield High School Class of 2020 graduate and Seattle Youth Commissioner, served on the review panel for the Opportunity and Access investments. “My time with DEEL as a panelist was both rewarding and educational,” she said. “I learned so much about DEEL’s grant proposal process, and as a recent high school graduate, this experience will be extremely valuable entering future spaces and community work. I am so thankful to DEEL for giving me this opportunity to empower community-based organizations and learn!” Linda is the proud daughter of Vietnamese immigrants and is a first-generation student studying political science at Pomona College.

“STEM Paths Innovation Network (SPIN) is so thankful for this funding that will help us expand our SPIN Girls program to help more 8th, 9th and 10th grade girls of color in Seattle learn about STEM and see themselves in STEM careers. In this time when so many programs have had to go virtual, it is more important than ever to build strong relationships among students and across generations and this is just what this funding will allow us to continue to do,” said Katherine Barr, deputy director of SPIN.

“Investing in our schools and community organizations to serve students who need it most is a key strategy in eliminating opportunity gaps for Seattle students,” said Dwane Chappelle, DEEL Director. “The unprecedented challenges of this school year and COVID-19’s interruption of traditional education service delivery means we must be even more diligent to ensure students get the support they need to succeed. Our School-Based and Opportunity and Access investments will help us do just that, by providing children and youth access to caring adults and critical services that will help them excel in school and pursue their dreams.”

The full SBI awardees are listed below:

High School (Total HS Awards for 2020-21: $3,283,020)

Chief Sealth InternationalInteragency Academy
Cleveland STEMRainier Beach

Middle School (Total MS Awards for 2020-21: $2,929,076)

Aki KuroseRobert Eagle Staff
Denny InternationalWashington
Mercer International 

Elementary/K-8 Schools (Total ES/K-8 Awards for 2020-21: $6,919,338)

Beacon Hill InternationalMartin Luther King Jr.
Concord InternationalNorthgate
Dearborn Park InternationalOlympic Hills
DunlapRising Star
EmersonSand Point
John MuirSanislo
KimballSouth Shore PK-8
LeschiThurgood Marshall
LowellWest Seattle
MadronaWing Luke

The full OA awardees are listed below:

Atlantic Street CenterNeighborhood House
Chinese Information & Service CenterRefugee Women’s Alliance
Delridge Neighborhoods Development AssociationSeattle Education Access
Friends of the Children SeattleSTEM Paths Innovation Network
KandeliaTechnology Access Foundation