Saturday, November 16, 2013

Give SE a Chance to Be Heard -- Vote Yes on Betty Patu’s Amendment 8

Please email and -- encourage them to vote YES on Betty Patu's plan for the Southeast. Feel free to copy and paste the text below. Thank you!

Give SE a Chance to Be Heard -- Vote Yes on Betty Patu’s Amendment 8

This Wednesday, the Seattle School Board will vote on a new Growth Boundaries plan that has been developed without the input of the diverse communities of Southeast Seattle. Many of these changes will take kids out of the walk zones to their neighborhood schools, and force them to bus to faraway schools.

Unlike most of the city, there are no imminent capacity issues in the Southeast. Therefore, we should take the time to listen to local families in their native languages and get boundaries right for Southeast Seattle. Please support Southeast Director Betty Patu’s Amendment 8, to rescind these proposals while she engages our diverse communities about these changes.

1) Since there are no capacity issues for 2014-15 in the Southeast, we can take the time to engage families on future changes.

2) On Nov. 12, Superintendent Jose Banda announced to the Seattle Council PTSA that “we missed the boat” on outreach to racial and linguistic minorities in the Southeast.

3) For the 5 lower Southeast grade schools with boundary changes, only 11 total comments were received. This is only 0.11% of the nearly 10,000 comments received. It’s clear that our families, particularly non-English-speaking ones, are not aware of the changes in store for them.

4) Only some of the boundary materials were translated, in only a handful of languages, only halfway through the process.

5) Beacon Hill has the worst boundary plan in the whole city: Mid Beacon Hill students living in the walk zones for both Maple and Dearborn Park would be forced to bus to Van Asselt, the eighth school from their homes.

6) Kimball students would be bussed out of the Southeast district up to the Central District for middle school at Washington.

In conjunction with Michael DeBell’s Amendment 7, to add language immersion to Dearborn Park for a year while allowing the community to decide whether to be a neighborhood or option school, these are the right choices for Southeast families. Please vote yes.

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