In April, I recommended to the Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee and to the City Council that one-time funding of $2.3 million Families and Education Levy funds be allocated to Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to implement a district-wide two-tier bus schedule in the 2017-2018 academic year. I heard from hundreds of parents, community members, and education advocates about the importance of this funding to strengthen student achievement. Research shows that a two-tiered school schedule results in longer reported hours of student sleep and reduced levels of discipline in high school students. In addition, I recognize that the current tier structure, which includes start times as late as 9:30 for elementary-aged children, puts a real burden on working families.
As City Council considers my proposal, it is important that they hear from you. The stories I heard about the successes of SPS’ “flipped” school schedules in the 2016-2017 school year, and the hardships a three-tiered schedule would cause, proved to me that this was the right thing to do.
Council is scheduled to take a final vote next Monday, June 12 at 2pm. We know at least two council members oppose the proposal and the School District has made clear that if the Council does not approve the funding next week, they will revert back to a three-tiered schedule for the 2017-18 school year.
I encourage you to your share your stories with City Council at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can ensure that our students have the best opportunities and show up to class ready and eager to learn.
Edward B. Murray
Mayor of Seattle
Sample Email to Send:
Dear Seattle Schools and City of Seattle Leaders,
Please make the health, safety, and well-being of our students highest priority and shift to two start times next school year. I want our children to be able to get adequate sleep and elementary students to walk safely to and from school. I also support sports and encourage you to adjust practice and game schedules so that all students, including athletes can benefit from later school start times. A better night’s sleep with a later start has even shown improvement in student athletic performance. Two tiers is what Seattle students of all ages need now.
I support the Mayor in recommending that one time funding of $2.3M be allocated to SPS to implement a district-wide two-tier bus schedule in the 2017-18 school year for equitable bell times, and I hope you will, too.