News, events and announcements for PTA Leaders in the Seattle School District 

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Dear PTA Leaders,

We are pleased to report that the Senate Republicans, in a surprise move, reversed their position and brought to the floor a modified version of the bill to delay the levy cliff until 2019. (Basically, this means all school districts use education operating levy funds for at least another calendar year.) The bill passed 48 to1. The House followed as soon as possible, passing the bill 87-10. Let's show our gratitude and appreciation to them all. Until now, the members of the legislature had been unable to come together to address the levy cliff.

But, this is a small victory in the effort to ensure our state fully and amply funds K-12 education as written in our state's constitution. It only represents a one-year reprieve of the state funding its obligations--these are currently supplanted by local, levy funds. The timing of the passage means that we have some relief from cuts to next year's school budgets but we cannot assume that all the cuts set forth earlier this month are now reversed.

The levy cliff extension agreement shows a willingness to work to find policy and financial fixes that address our constitutional mandates and is a breath of fresh air. The good news is that we have less of a budget gap to address for next school year; the bad news is that this is only a temporary fix and only addresses part of the funding gap. We must continue our fight for ALL children in Washington State by working with our legislature to come together in a bi-partisan way to meet its constitutional obligation.

Critical things to know:
  1. This is not a long-term fix. SB5023 helps avert the immediate loss of some positions, but it only addresses one-third of our 2017-18 budget shortfall. We need a solution that fully funds education as required by the McCleary decision.
  2. SPS will continue to analyze SB5023 and the impacts on Seattle Public Schools. 
  3. The SPS budget office may revise staffing allocations in view of this new information. 
  4. The Seattle School Board will review implications of the bill on March 29, at their budget work session. 
  5. The passage of this bill shows our strong united advocacy is working--thank you! We must stay strong in our fight for our children and for the state to fulfil its Paramount Duty.
  6. Delivered to Governor. (View Bill as Passed Legislature)
We are in very critical advocacy times and face huge educational uncertainties. Now more than ever we must embrace our founding principles of families being engaged in the education of their children, using our collective power and voice to ensure equity and excellence in education, health, safety and well-being for ALL children. Together, Every Child--One Voice.

-Sebrena Burr
SCPTSA President 
PTA News

Board Recognizes PTSA as Premier Partner 
Congratulations to all of us! At the school board meeting on February 16, Seattle Council PTSA and indiviual PTSA groups were recognized as a Seattle Public Schools Premier Partner. PTSA  fills many gaps and needs for schools and communities throughout our district.  Thank you for what you do every day to ensure that every child's potential becomes a reality.  Lowell Elementary, Rainier Beach and Ballard High School received special shout-outs at the meeting for their accomplishments. 
See recognition in board meeting video (4:40-12:15)

Get Involved with Seattle Special Education PTSA
The Seattle Special Education PTSA (SpEd PTSA) is looking for special education representatives to serve on every PTA board and to be a part of the collective voice for the over 7,000 students (from  birth to 21 years of age) receiving Special Education Services. All are invited to join these efforts on behalf of students with disabilities. If you are inerested in being a part of  SpEd PTSA, please contact President Lori Hiltz.  Visit the WSPTA website and choose "Join Your PTA Now" to become a member of SpEd. 

Volunteer Opportunities with Seattle Council PTSA 
Are you interested in participating in PTA at the council level? Seattle Council PTSA is seeking to fill positions for two new committees as well as several existing positions. We are establishing a Seattle Public Schools Policy Committee and a Family Engagement Committee. Representatives are also needed for NE, SE and Central Area Directors.
Contact if you are interested in learning more.

Register Now for WSPTA Annual Convention in Seattle: Deadline April 5
It's time to register for this year's annual WSPTA Annual Convention April 28-30 at the 
Hilton Seattle Airport and Convention Center. The 
Hilton SeaTac is accepting hotel reservations. Be sure to register and reserve your room early!
See registration info on the WSPTA website

National PTA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas 
Join us for the 2017 National PTA Convention & Expo June 22-25  in Las Vegas.  Convention is normally not this close to us, please consider sending delegates for this rare opportunity. Connect with over 1,500 of the nation's most influential leaders in education, as well as other parents and experts. 
To register visit the National PTA website 
Community News

Watch Seattle Inside/Out: Who has the best McCleary Funding Plan?
Why are school districts like Seattle planning budget cuts now? The new state schools superintendent and regional education leaders offer a progress report on the stalemate in Olympia and their reactions to proposals for fixing the public-education funding crisis. Watch the Seattle Inside/Out on the Seattle Channel to h ear from a panel of education leaders and community advocates, including SCPTSA Advocacy Chair Eden Mack.
Grant Opportunities 

Neighborhood Matching Fund Program - Next Deadline March 27
The City of Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) program was created in 1988 to provide matching dollars for neighborhood improvement, organizing, or projects that are developed and implemented by community members. Core to the fund is the community match, which requires awardees to match their award with contributions from the community (volunteer time, donated materials, donated professional services or cash). Don't miss this opportunity to secure $5000 to $100,000 for your community improvement projects. 

School Grants for Healthy Kids: Deadline April 7
Action for Healthy Kids is now accepting grant applications for the 2017-18 school year.  Get additional resources for your school and PTA to implement health and wellness practices that help students eat healthier and be physically active.  Action for Healthy Kids has provided $6.6 million in grants to schools since 2009.  The application deadline is April 7.

2017 Crayola Creative Leadership Grants - Accepting Applications Now
The 2017 program provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team-building within elementary/middle schools. Beginning December 1, 2016, submit your application for the opportunity to receive a grant to help build your school's creative capacity. Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.
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