Money talk and more at West Seattle school-board rep Gina Topp’s second community chat

February 23, 2024 11:46 pm
|    Comments Off on Money talk and more at West Seattle school-board rep Gina Topp’s second community chat
 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

The new Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors rep for West Seattle/South Park, Gina Topp, decided to try hosting her second community-conversation meeting online, after having her first one in-person. Result: Less than half the turnout. Could have been the day, time, the fact that many are on break since school’s out for conversation. Nonetheless, conversation ensued, though Topp and her attendees ran out of things to talk about after about 45 minutes, and the Thursday night meeting – announced for an hour – ended early. Like her first one (WSB coverage here), this was more of an around-the-table chance for everyone to bring up a question or comment, rather than an in-depth discussion of any one topic. School funding was a common thread for most, though, with SPS facing a nine-digit budget shortfall. Topp said the district needs to be able to show state reps that they’re being fiscally responsible. She also noted that principals have recently received their schools’ money information for the year ahead and will have to sit down with their Building Leadership Teams (as explained at the recent School Funding 101 event) to “make it work.” One attendee, West Seattleite Fiona Preedy – there though her children have graduated out of the district – spoke about the importance of funding for music, a program that keeps so many kids interested and engaged in school, yet has to fight for funding scraps and plead for donation.

Topp said the board doesn’t have a uniform policy for meetings like these – it’s up to individual directors whether to have them at all – but she intends to continue having them monthly. She also said she’s sharing feedback from her meetings with the rest of the board, so they know what she’s hearing. You can reach her other ways, too – her email address is here. She reminded those in attendance that the next board meeting will be March 6 (watch for more agenda details here). And when asked if she plans to visit schools, Topp said she’s already contacted all the schools in her district inviting them to let her know about occasions on which she can visit.

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