The following PTSA members have coordinated over the past few months to prepare the following resolution and are seeking adoption by the Bryant PTSA at the June 13 Bryant PTSA General Meeting. All Bryant PTSA members are encouraged to attend on June 13 to engage on this issue.
Developed by the following Bryant PTSA members: Carrie Lee, Nat Jungbluth, Nina Mettler, Mary Fontana, Katie Hurley
Whereas Bryant Elementary PTSA adopted an Anti-Racism Resolution in June 2020 affirming that “Bryant PTSA commits to being an anti-racist organization;”
Whereas a 2016 study found that Seattle Public Schools had the 5th-biggest gap in achievement between Black and white students amongst large school districts in the US;
Whereas Seattle Public Schools developed Weighted Staffing Standards to align with Seattle School Board Policy No. 0030 ENSURE EDUCATIONAL AND RACIAL EQUITY to meet the needs of students who have been historically underserved by protecting and providing differentiated resources to schools classified as Tier I and Tier II schools based on their Equity Index score;
Whereas Bryant Elementary ranks as the 6th-lowest Equity Index rating out of 102 schools due to the low proportion of historically underserved students and is classified as a Tier IV school;
Whereas Seattle Public Schools does not receive sufficient funding from the State of Washington to fully fund many school staff, including school leaders, nurses, and social workers, nor to provide special education services needed by students;
Whereas the Washington State local levy cap prevents Seattle Public Schools from increasing property taxes to increase revenue for schools;
Whereas Bryant Elementary PTSA is a member of the WA State PTA and National PTA organizations whose mission is to be a “strong advocate for the well-being and education of all children” and who believe that “we cannot only focus on our own children. We must care for other people’s kids because the lives of our own children—or grandchildren—will be affected by contact with those other kids;”
Whereas large differences in familial wealth and income in different school communities within Seattle Public Schools contribute to wide disparities in PTSA fundraising potential, such that some schools, including Bryant, have large PTSA operating budgets while other schools have essentially no PTSA funding;
Whereas several well-funded PTAs in Seattle Public Schools and the wider region have committed to fundraising for schools with no or limited PTSA fundraising, including:
- Portland Public Schools: after the first $10,000 raised by a school, ⅓ of all local school foundation proceeds are required to be donated to Portland Public School Parent – Equity Fund, a central fund managed by the district that offers grants to high-need schools through criteria set by the district
Montlake Elementary PTA contributes 10% of its annual budget to community fund sharing and provides an opt-in Equity Fund for family contributions. Funds go to Montlake families in need, Lowell Elementary, and SE Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance (~28k/yr)
TOPS K-8 PTA invites families to contribute to an Equity Fund which has raised ~20k/yr, and funds are split between Lowell Elementary and SE Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance (SESSFA)
Queen Anne Elementary PTA contributes 10% of the annual budget to SESSFA
Stevens Elementary PTA donates up to 10% of fundraising to groups like Families and Communities For Equity In Schools (FACES) and SESSFA
McDonald International Elementary PTA provides a voluntary option to donate to the Community Partnership Fund. This money is donated to other schools’ PTAs to support equity in the district. In Fall 2021, Olympic Hills Elementary, Concord International, and Dearborn Park International PTAs received just over $5K each
Greenlake Elementary PTA contributes 3% of annual budget to sister school Rising Star Elementary PTA (projected ~4k for 2021-2022 school year) and co-organizes community volunteer events
Genesee Hill Elementary PTA supports an equitable use of PTA funds, such as fundshifting through the West Seattle Public School Equity Fund;
Whereas Bryant Elementary PTSA includes budget for Families In Need program for Bryant families and has facilitated families to opt in to support equitable giving throughout the year for our sister school – including funds in September for school supplies, Families In Need grocery gift cards for school breaks, and teacher appreciation, and for the SE Seattle Schools Fundraising Alliance by hosting a Move-A-Thon at Bryant in April 2023. Total giving to the sister school in 22-23 school year was $7425 and the Families In Need budget was $3500, equivalent to approximately 3.6% of Bryant PTSA’s approximately $300,000 budget. Note: We have not included donations from the Move-a-Thon or sister school teacher appreciation because data is not available;
Resolved that the Bryant Elementary PTSA shall:
Remain incorporated as a PTSA under the WA PTA and National PTA to support child advocacy of all children. Bryant PTSA will not pursue becoming an independent PTO.
Prioritize advocacy efforts at the state- and district-level that support the well-being of all children in Seattle Public Schools.
Support the use of Equity Index and Equity Tiers to inform the Weighted Staffing Standards by Seattle Public Schools to ensure that resources are equitably distributed throughout the district to meet the needs of students who have historically been underserved.
Follow the lead of several other Seattle schools and establish a goal for Bryant PTSA to contribute the equivalent of 10% of overall budget to equity, through Families In Need budget from the Bryant PTSA and through voluntary opt-in fundraising for an Equity Fund to be part of the annual campaign and stand alone fundraising events. Funds donated to the Equity Fund would be distributed at the recommendation of the Bryant Equity Committee to the Bryant PTSA, including to the Title I Sister School and Alliance for Public Schools to distribute to schools without a PTSA program.
In practice what this would mean for the 23-24 budget is that Bryant PTSA would set a goal for $30,000 (i.e. 10% of $300,000) to be donated to support equity: 23-24 FIN Budget $5250 from Bryant PTSA Budget + remaining $24,750 from opt-in Equity Fund part of annual campaign and school supplies, sister school gift cards, and other fundraising.
Support transparency in PTSA giving and publicly share information on the Bryant PTSA website on the Bryant PTSA budget and equity fund goal progress.