YOU CAN HELP: Highland Park Elementary PTA crowdfunding to add staff

From the Highland Park Elementary PTA:

Highland Park Elementary needs our support more than ever to raise 200K to add a classroom teacher and fund the Youth Services Assistant. This is a direct ask of our Highland Park Staff to support our school the way they see best fit.
Please share this Go Fund Me with anyone you know!

The 150k is not just the salary, it includes the benefits of the teacher.

The Youth Service Assistant helps with social emotional support/development at HPE full time and our current HPE budget can only afford half time for this position; we want to raise the funds to have this support all the time for our growing students.

Even a small donation could help Highland Park PTA reach our fundraising goal. And if you can’t make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word.

More information can be found on our website or send us an email if you would like your company to match your donation.

12 Replies to "YOU CAN HELP: Highland Park Elementary PTA crowdfunding to add staff"

  • Justin March 24, 2023 (10:16 am)


  • SPS Parent March 24, 2023 (10:20 am)

    Sorry to be a downer, but I’m pretty sure PTAs can’t fund classroom teachers. I’m curious to know why the teacher was cut? Enrollment decline?

    • WSB March 24, 2023 (11:09 am)

      I already asked that question, because I thought there had been some change in the rules because of inequity. The PTA says that according to the principal, they are allowed to raise up to $250,000. So far in limited searching I have found a credible news source also reporting that relatively recently.

    • Frog March 24, 2023 (12:04 pm)

      There must be more to the story.  SPS has been making noise about a future budget deficit, but no change in the staffing formula has been announced for schools.  Perhaps HPE had an extra teacher above and beyond the standard formula thanks to special funding of some sort, and that was ending, but the PTA wants to hold on to the teacher.  If so, it’s a big challenge, because they will need to raise $150,000 every year forever to fund that position.  PTA funding of teachers has been controversial over the years.  Once long ago, Alki ES was about to lose a teacher due to October adjustments (based on actual enrollment, using the standard formula) but managed to hold on to the teacher by raising PTA money.  There was a lot of blowback when that happened.

      • WSB March 24, 2023 (12:07 pm)

        No, that is not true. SPS is not announcing school closing/consolidations for the coming year. Everything else – like staff cuts – is part of the budget-balancing plan.

  • skeeter March 24, 2023 (2:31 pm)

    I won’t pretend I know what’s going on here but I think something is strange.  Staff positions are paid by SPS out of the SPS budget.  PTAs raise money for supplies, equipment, guest speakers, activities, etc.  PTAs do not pay for staff salaries and benefits.  

    • WSB March 24, 2023 (4:30 pm)

      They do in more than a few cases. This story’s a few years old but documented thoroughly:

    • Frog March 24, 2023 (5:30 pm)

      It’s common for well-funded PTAs to pay for playground supervisors, lunchroom supervisors, office staff, and para-educators for tutoring and intervention.  Less common but not unknown is to pay for counselors, social workers, or extra nurse hours.  But paying for certified teachers is rare, I think.

      • wsteacher March 25, 2023 (10:32 am)

        Many PTAs in West Seattle have refused to fund up positions like they have in the past because they do not want to continue supplementing SPS’s deficits. Many of us teachers wonder if SPS creates an intentionally deep budget cut  in hopes that the community will help fund our school’s deficits. The big take-away here: we do not trust the SPS budgeting process. The worst problem SPS has is that they are not transparent and that creates mistrust among the staff and community. We will see, and the adjustments will disrupt classroom configurations in October.School staff are still waiting for SPS to follow-up on their strike-ending promise of a plan for inclusion for our schools and for a Special Ed caseload calculator. Special Ed teachers are fed up that the plan has yet to be revealed and the head of the Special Ed dept is now leaving to work in another state. 

  • Kyle March 24, 2023 (7:57 pm)

    The article linked by WSB talks about the PTA in Laurelhurst funding a music teacher. Not sure if that counts as certified or not, but from that article it seems to be common for PTAs to pay for staff if they can’t afford it.

  • Pinto March 25, 2023 (7:40 am)

    Perhaps HPE is losing federal title funds due to drop in students who qualify for free lunch next year? This is how federal government determines which schools qualify for federal money. Denny recently lost federal title funds because of this, leaving Aki Kurose as the only middle school left in Seattle that qualifies for title funds.

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