by Michael Reagan
Seattle Colleges District, the three-campus community college system for the City of Seattle, has been a flagship of professional, technical, and academic transfer instruction since 1970. Typically, during years of high enrollment — often when high unemployment pushes people to learn new skills, become certified, or complete a degree — North, Central, and South Seattle Colleges have collectively served over 45,000 students annually. The District’s “open-door” admissions policy welcomes students with all kinds of needs. Students of color comprise 56% of the student body at Central College, 40% at South Seattle College, and 36% at North Seattle College. But the combined pandemic and economic downturn has created a financial crisis across the district.
Continue reading OPINION: Seattle Colleges in Crisis, But Harmful Budget Cuts Not the Answer
By Chetanya Robinson
Seattle City Council members outlined specific plans for slashing the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget in 2020 and reimagining how the city provides public safety, weeks after a veto-proof majority first committed to defunding the police by 50%.
The new proposals do not cut the department’s budget by 50% in 2020, falling short of demands from prominent community organizations after the the murder of George Floyd and city-wide demonstrations against systemic racism and police brutality.
Continue reading City Council Members Discuss Defunding Police in 2020 Budget — but Not by 50 Percent
by Marilyn Watkins
As tax revenues fall with people out of work and whole industries shuttered, Washington’s state and local governments are laying off staff, reducing pay, and slashing services that are helping people weather the COVID storm. Cutting important services now will cause immediate suffering, prolong the recession, and deepen racial and economic inequity.
We need our state legislators and other elected officials to have the courage to raise new taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations, then reinvest that money in health care, secure housing, child care, educational opportunity, and income support for people and small businesses who are struggling for survival.
Continue reading Washington Can’t Afford Austerity
by Rebecca Chase-Chen
One afternoon in late November, as I was cleaning my classroom and preparing materials for the next day’s lessons, an email arrived. Unlike the colorful advertisements for classroom products and brief reminders about upcoming meetings, I immediately saw this email was different. There was no colorful title, no graphics, just the subject line, in all caps: SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BUDGET UPDATE. As I started to read, my head, heart and stomach felt sick as I read the words. 74 million dollar shortfall. Crisis. Significant cuts. Continue reading Seattle Public Schools Should Shelter High Poverty Schools from Budget Cuts