Seattle Public Schools’ enrollment dip to cause $28 million loss in state funding

Seattle Public Schools are expected to receive a $ 28 million federal budget cut next year due to a drop in enrollments.

SEATTLE – Seattle Public Schools (SPS) are starting the 2021-2022 school year with 1,300 fewer students in the district’s 104 schools.

The decline will affect how much government funding the district will receive for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.

The district currently has 50,000 students enrolled this year, according to SPS spokesman Tim Robinson.

Robinson said the decrease equates to approximately $ 28 million in government funding that will not be awarded to the district for next year’s budget.

Although the budget impact won’t kick in until next school year, Robinson said some changes have already been made this year due to the postponement of school enrollment.

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“There are some schools that have had more enrollments than expected and they need to make adjustments by hiring more teachers,” said Robinson. “We had about 12 schools that were making adjustments due to staff losses, and there were a total of about 10 full-time positions in four or five part-time positions. None of them were released. They would simply be reassigned to other schools. “

Some district officials research the area’s demographics year-round, but Robinson said enrollment is a complex issue that makes it difficult to narrow down a specific cause of shifts.

Looking ahead to the next school year, Robinson said the district had no say in whether there would be any impact on the programs.

This year, 300 students are participating in a pilot virtual learning program while the district returns to full-time teaching.

“Seattle Public Schools is such a large organization that we lose about 500 teachers to retirement every year,” said Robinson. “There’s a lot of sales, so we can make changes and adjustments to balance our budget.”

There are 4,300 teachers in the district this year, according to Robinson.

KING 5 reached out to several other districts of all sizes to find out where their enrollment stats were, but some were unwilling to provide final enrollment numbers. A spokesman for a smaller Washington district told KING 5 that while there are early signs of lower enrollment, the final count won’t be made until mid-October.

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