Seattle Public Schools


Community Engagement

Well-Resourced Schools Community Engagement

As a district, we value listening to and learning from our community. We seek ways to make sure all voices can be heard, especially those that might be underrepresented in our community. 

Starting in summer and fall 2023, SPS launched a community engagement to talk with students, families, staff, and community partners. We are developing a shared understanding of what resources, programs, services, and learning experiences make up a well-resourced school. 

Superintendent Brent Jones launched a community-wide effort to reimagine a System of Well-Resourced Schools that is safe, equitable, and offers students and families the programs, services and resources they need to succeed and thrive in the neighborhoods where they live.

To provide district leadership and the School Board with authentic input, a series of community engagement efforts were conducted to help shape a vision grounded in the values and aspirations of the diverse community served by SPS.

The community vision will provide a foundation to frame challenges and opportunities for SPS in the coming years and help guide future strategic planning and resource allocation decisions, including funding for Well-Resourced Schools, SPS Funding Our Future planning, renewal of the Seattle Excellence Strategic Plan, and the BEX VI Levy.

Well-Resourced Engagement 

In August through October 2023, Seattle Public Schools completed its Phase I Engagement Plan. Phase II Engagement Plan will include engagement opportunities specifically for students, plus additional targeted efforts to ensure diverse voices from all backgrounds are equitably represented and reflected in the community’s vision. 

Through this process, we heard that families want: 

  • schools to be central hubs for families and community, 
  • security measures to keep students safe,  
  • robust and inclusive music, arts, and sports programs,  
  • high-quality instruction in core subjects with equity and diversity reflected in the curriculum.  
  • regular accessible communications to families from the schools,  and equitable access to special education, multi-lingual and highly capable advanced learning services.  
  • These community recommendations are posted on our website.  

Community Recommendations

SPS is committed to hearing your voice. The goal for the well-resourced schools conversations is to gather input from our community so that SPS can make effective decisions about major initiatives and issues. Community Engagement Feedback

Well-Resourced Schools and Budget Presentations to the School Board 

Superintendent Brent Jones shared his plan to balance the budget and create a system of well-resourced schools on Nov. 15 with the Seattle School Board. Superintendent Jones is not recommending any school closures or consolidations for the 2024-25 school year. 


  • The School Board heard Superintendent Jones’ recommended strategies as an introductory item during the Nov. 15 meeting. Read the presentation overview and watch the meeting recording.
  • The resolution went back to the full board for consideration at the Dec. 13 Regular Board Meeting.
  • The School Board held a work session on Jan. 17, 2024, to hear about updates on budget development.
  • The School Board will meet on March 20, to hear a legislative update.
  • The School Board is scheduled to preview the proposed 2024-25, 2025-26, and 2026-27 budgets [budgets may include program and personnel changes for 2024-25 and school consolidation for 2025-26] on April 3.
  • The superintendent will present a plan to realize the vision for a system of well-resourced schools in May 2024. This plan may include school consolidations for the 2025-26 school year and beyond, grade level reorganizations, and program adjustments and restructuring.
  • The School Board is scheduled to review the final budget recommendation in June and is scheduled to vote on a final budget in July. 
District Structural Deficit and School Impacts

Update to Community on Seattle Public Schools Budget: Supporting Students Together

In March, school principals are developing their building’s budget for the next school year. Budgets guide us as we work to prioritize inclusive and high-quality education for our students.

To achieve a balanced budget, we know we must make changes. We are approaching these decisions in a thoughtful way to ensure we minimize negative impacts on student learning.

Read the full March budget update

What is SPS plan for a responsible budget?

While we are not closing any schools for the 2024-25 school year, we will be making some necessary changes to balance our budget in a fiscally responsible manner that ensures educational excellence across the district. To balance the budget for 2024-25 school year, this district intends to seek the implementation of loan tools the Washington State Legislature provided to specifically address budget de-stabilization, along with restructuring some programs.  

Why this will work

Our plan to balance our budget provides significant long-term savings and opportunities for more savings in the future 

What’s the issue with the budget?  

SPS faces projected deficits of $105 million for fiscal year 2024-25, $129 million for fiscal year 2025-26, and $153 million for fiscal year 2026-27. This structural shortfall is caused primarily by insufficient funding from the State of Washington; declines in enrollment, the spending of one-time funding sources. 

What’s the situation with enrollment? 

Today, enrollment is approximately 48,000 students and there are 104 school buildings. From 2019-23, enrollment has decreased by 4,900 students, which has resulted in an $81 million drop in revenue 

Why consolidate or close schools in the future? 

As much as we love every one of our schools, when they are under-enrolled, they become under-resourced and this causes inequity and inconsistency from school to school.  

Aren’t there better ways to cover the deficit than closing schools? What other alternatives were considered? 

Closing a school will save $750,000 to $2,000,000. While that is only part of budget savings, it will indeed make a difference.  

Why can’t we have smaller schools? 

Current Washington state funding does not support smaller schools or smaller class sizes. State funds are based on the cost to run a 400-student elementary school, which means schools smaller than that are not financially feasible or sustainable.  

How is this process going to lead to well-resourced schools? 

We have launched a community-wide effort to reimagine a system of well-resourced schools which offers students and families the support, the programs and resources, and the inspiration they need to succeed and thrive in the neighborhoods where they live.

We will continue this community engagement to ensure that the decisions we make will be responsive, equitable, and sound, as we consider making any substantial consolidation, closure, and programmatic changes. Read more about the well-resourced schools community engagement.

Guiding the SPS Well-resourced Schools Vision 

SPS well-resourced school conversations will be guided by Board Policy 0010, Instructional Philosophy and Board Policy 0030, Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity. These policies demonstrate the Seattle Public Schools commitment that students will be supported and affirmed in their learning, with multiple pathways to success, in school environments where they feel seen, heard, and welcomed in all spaces.

Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity

Seattle Public Schools has made eight commitments to the success of every student in each of our schools.

Read SPS Policy 0030

Recent News and Announcements

Seattle Public Schools Budget: Supporting Students Together

To achieve a balanced budget, we know we must make changes. We are approaching these decisions in a thoughtful way.
Students and elders stand around desks covered in artifacts, discuss objects.

Thornton Creek Elementary Artifact Day

Artifact Day gives students a chance to teach others about their family history and culture.

Schools Celebrate National African American Parent Involvement Day

John Muir Elementary and Orca K-8 brought Black families to campus for food, fun, and fellowship for National African American Parent Involvement Day.