I'll post the entire statement but one caveat - for some reason they changed Rep. Reuven Carlyle's statement but I'll post the first one in red and the updated one in black. I do not know why this change occurred.
One thing I learned is that state money went to accelerating the timeline for Arbor Heights.
SEATTLE – Enrollment projections in Seattle Public Schools are showing an increase of 7,000 more students over the next seven years, making it necessary for the district to upgrade and open more schools to address its capacity needs.
Thanks to the budget request and support from the state legislators who represent Seattle Public Schools' citizens, $25 million has been allocated for SPS construction in the recently passed Capital Budget. Specifically:
· $10M to modernize and repair distressed schools
· $15M to help modernize and re-open the Magnolia and E.C. Hughes schools.
Dr. Nyland specifically pointed to the efforts of Senators Jamie Pedersen and David Frockt and Representatives Reuven Carlyle and Gerry Pollet who led the Seattle Delegation effort. "These legislators led the effort to ensure that these critical budget requests were supported by the entire Seattle delegation and they would not have been secured without their unified support,” Dr. Nyland said.
"We are grateful to our state legislators: they led the drive to help us with our urgent needs to ease address overcrowding," Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland said. "Our students and staff need safe, clean buildings for an optimum teaching and learning environment and these funds are critical to addressing our growing enrollment."
Thanks to the Seattle delegation, these funds can be leveraged by the voters in the next BTA to re-open Magnolia Elementary School at least two years earlier. This level of state investment in a single building will help alleviate capacity in other neighboring elementary schools.
$9.4 million was awarded in June 2012 during the 2011-13 biennium to repair and modernize the John Marshall, Louisa Boren and (old) Van Asselt School buildings. Additionally, $10 million was awarded in July 2013 during the 2013-15 biennium to repair and modernize the Cedar Park School building and for the accelerated new replacement of the Arbor Heights Elementary School building.
"Seattle has some of the most overcrowded schools in the state," said Senator Frockt. "With enrollment increasing and the need to lower sizes to comply with the Supreme Court's McCleary ruling, the entire Seattle legislative delegation is working together to get more state funding for school construction, repair and renovation. The Distressed Schools Grant money that Seattle Public Schools received this year and in 2011, will help address the district's capacity needs."
“As a parent with four kids making their way through the Seattle Public Schools, I’m excited about the future of our city, and quality buildings with supported teachers are part of the foundation of becoming one of the best urban districts nationally,” said Rep. Carlyle, a Queen Anne resident who chairs the House Finance Committee. “The Magnolia school is more than proverbial bricks and mortar, it’s a community building with spirit and soul and one of my personal and professional dreams is to see hundreds of kids on the playgrounds again.”
"Seattle's school children face severe overcrowding,” Representative Carlyle added. “It's hard to learn out in the hallway or on a lunchroom stage. The funds mean a lot to our children. This is just the first step to provide safe, healthy schools that aren't overflowing."
In addition, funds were secured to continue the expiring and successful Urban School Turnaround Initiatives Grant for Rainer Beach High School and Aki Kurose Middle School, thanks to the leadership of Rep. Eric Pettigrew. The grant totaled $600,000 ($400,000 year one and $200,000 year two) split evenly between the two schools.