Seattle Public Schools proposal could close 20 elementary schools

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools officials are considering closing up to 20 elementary schools as the district faces a budget deficit of over $100 million.

In a vote on Wednesday, the school board agreed to the superintendent starting a school closure plan.

Superintendent Brent Jones’ ‘Well-Resourced Schools’ plan could close more than a quarter of the district’s 73 elementary schools.

SPS says 29 of those schools serve less than 300 students, buildings the district calls under-enrolled.

The district says not closing these schools could mean cutting or eliminating preschool, reducing core staff, increasing class sizes and curriculum reductions.

Many parents and teachers are not happy with the proposal and voiced their opinions during Wednesday’s meeting.

“It’s not 20 schools, it’s 20 communities. All the kids who thought they knew who their next year teacher would be, all the local mom and pop stores that sell ice cream to the kids after school, they’re all going to be seriously impacted,” said Ben Gitenstein, a parent in the district.

Jones is expected to present a preliminary recommendation during the June 10 school board meeting.

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