(Adam Andrzejewski, RealClear Wire) So far through February 2023, Seattle Public Schools has made $67.5 million more in expenditures than it has received in revenue, part of a total projected deficit of $131 million, according to Chalkboard Review.
According to the article, the spending comes in three main categories: regular education, special education, and support services.
Falling enrollment and ballooning support staffs have both contributed to the district’s insolvency. Student enrollment has plummeted from 52,730 in the 2019-20 school year to 49,387 in the 2023-24 school year.
Despite fewer students in the buildings, the number of staff has increased from 5,609 in 2014 to 7,273 last year. These expensive bureaucrats have steadily increased costs despite having fewer students needing their help.
According to The Center Square, the school district is considering cutting $33 million in spending from the central office. It is also looking at another $11 million in school-based cuts.
These measures, while necessary and appropriate, still don’t come close to solving the problem. The most effective and succinct solution — consolidation — has been ruled out for now by the superintendent.
School districts are just as liable as local and state governments to overspend and exercise poor financial judgement. For the sake of our children, it’s important they rein in ballooning costs and spend wisely.