The Senate capital budget would provide money for critical school construction projects in Seattle School District under an amendment proposed by the Seattle Senate delegation and adopted by the full Senate. The amendment was signed by Senators David Frockt, Jamie Pedersen, Sharon Nelson, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Pramila Jayapal, Bob Hasegawa and Maralyn Chase.

The amendment to SB 6080 would provide an additional $33 million over four years for school construction, renovations and improvements for local Seattle schools. This was the full sum requested by Seattle Public Schools from the capital budget.

“Seattle has some of the most crowded classrooms in the state, and the legislature needed to step up and help,” said Frockt, who offered the amendment on behalf of the delegation. “To provide a great education for all students we need to make sure they have school buildings in decent shape, with enough classrooms, and with the infrastructure they need to succeed. If we can secure this funding in the final capital budget, it will contribute to accommodate the extraordinary population and enrollment growth we have seen and are expected to continue to see in our city. We have a long way to go to fully accommodate population growth, but this is a good step in the right direction.”

Beginning in the 2008-09 school year with a population of approximately 47,000 students, the Seattle School District has grown by at least 1,000 students each year. At this projected pace, the Seattle School District could have enrollment of approximately 60,000 students by the year 2020. The addition of 12,000 students over that time frame would itself be larger than 90 percent of the school districts in Washington.

“Our state’s paramount duty is to provide ample funding for public schools, including for construction of school buildings,” said Pedersen. “Seattle legislators have worked closely together this session to make sure that the state will help Seattle meet the challenge of our extraordinary enrollment growth.”