How to Advocate for More School Funding in 2021

Write your legislators!

Tell Your Legislators School Funding is Important

As schools are planning to reopen, facing decreased enrollment and increased costs, we are asking for you to advocate for more school funding in the state legislature. We need immediate action from as many of you as possible. Please take five minutes now to send three emails to your legislators about two bills and a budget that will make more funds available to schools.  There are so many dire needs because of the pandemic and they need to hear that school funding should have high priority.

Update:  Both bills have passed their house of origin.  HB 1476 is now under consideration in the Senate and SSB 5128 is now under consideration in the House.  Please continue to email our legislators to ensure these bills pass.

For each letter:
  - Copy the text of the letter into a new email message.
  - Personalize the text with your name and address at the bottom of the letter.
  - Copy and paste the list of email addresses for that letter.  Note:  Each letter has some different email addresses.
  - Send the email.
  - Forward this email to family and friends who live in Washington state and ask them to also email letters to their legislators.

Make sure to include [email protected] so that we can track how many letters have been sent and report that number to Seattle Council PTSA who is coordinating this effort.

If you live outside of the 43rd district, you will need to change the first three emails of each letter to your own three legislators. You can locate your district and representatives on this website. You can find their emails in this online directory.  You will also need to edit the letters to indicate the district where you reside.

Letter 1:  House Bill HB 1476

Bill HB 1476 proposes enrollment stabilization. The state and districts would use enrollment numbers from 2019 (when higher) to fund schools through 2022.

Send to:
[email protected], [email protected], frank.cho[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Copy and paste this letter:
Dear Representative Chopp, Representative Macri, Senator Pedersen, and Representative Dolan,

As a constituent in the 43rd Legislative District, I am writing in support of HB1476 addressing enrollment declines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The intent to address enrollment stabilization in the budget is critically important for my child’s school and levy stabilization is an important step toward keeping our school districts whole and functioning.

Seattle Public Schools is anticipating that my school will have an enrollment decline that will result in us losing teachers. This means when my child returns to school in the fall, not only will my child’s school look different, not only will routines be different, but also familiar faces will be absent. Enrollment stabilization from the state will be critical for making sure that our schools provide as much consistency as we can for our children, who have undergone so much this pandemic. Anything you can do to support stability in our schools, to help to maintain current staffing, supports our youth.

Will you commit to supporting HB 1476? Will you commit to fighting for enrollment stabilization in the budget?

Thank you,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]

If you personally know families who have temporarily removed their students from Seattle Public Schools while they are operating remotely, you can also include this paragraph in your letter:

I personally know [___] families who have removed their students from public school, but who fully intend to return as soon as school is back. From talking with my community, it is my expectation that we’ll experience an enrollment bump in the near future that will mirror the enrollment decline we are currently experiencing. Given that the current acute enrollment decline is due to this emergency situation, we should do what we can to provide stability so that teachers are staying in place, students have what they need, and we don’t experience unnecessary stress and inconsistency.

Letter 2:  Senate Bill SSB 5128

Senate Bill  SSB 5128 addresses transportation funding for schools. 

Send to:
[email protected], [email protected], frank.chop[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Copy and paste this letter:
Dear Senator Pedersen, Representative Chopp, Representative Macri, and Senator Wellman,

As a constituent in the 43rd district, I am writing in support of SSB 5128 concerning student transportation funding during a local, state, or national emergency.

There are real costs to firing and hiring school bus drivers. Leaving uncertainty around how many bus drivers districts will need puts pressure on bus drivers to look for other employment. Further, questions around whether districts will be able to provide the amount of yellow bus service for their families as they had pre-pandemic causes stress to families as they try to coordinate job schedules to be able to provide transportation. Underfunding transportation can force districts to change school start times, to not provide bus service for certain categories of schools or students and more.

We have enough uncertainty, and enough people unable to work. Please do not compound this problem by failing to pass SSB 5128.

Will you commit to supporting SSB 5128?
[Your Name]
[Your Address] 

Letter 3:  School Funding in the Budget

Send to:
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], claire.wilso[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Cut and paste this letter:
Dear Senator Pedersen, Representative Chopp, Representative Macri, Representative Ormsby, Senator Rolfes, Senator Wilson, and Senator Frockt,

I am a constituent in the 43rd legislative district, and I am writing to ask that you address enrollment stabilization for schools in the budget.

Our schools were underfunded before this pandemic, and that has made our schools more vulnerable to being impacted by the pandemic. We will need yet more funds to get our schools to move through and recover from the pandemic. We need funds to address learning loss, enrollment stabilization, and transportation. We need to not only hold our districts harmless but actively support them.

We know that some families, during this unusual and scary time, have pulled their students out of public schools, but from our conversations with our communities, we know that most of those families will be coming back to public school. Please do not force districts into long-lasting or drastic changes for a temporary problem. Please fully address enrollment stabilization for all of Washington’s school districts in the budget.

Thank you,
[Your Name]