West Seattle Public School Equity Fund, a new, grassroots, parent driven pooled fund, is celebrating its inaugural distribution of fundshifting across West Seattle gradeschool and K8 PTAs. After a year of presenting the concept and inviting participation, WSPSEF has ~$20,000 in contributions, to be distributed to 5 schools across the neighborhood.
Local public school parents Andrea Dimond, Shannon Woodard, and Kristen Corning Bedford began meeting last spring to discuss the possibility of a more community wide effort to equitably fund our neighborhood schools. A powerpoint presentation was created to highlight the stark contrast between schools, running north-south down the center of West Seattle, following the redlining map of the 1930s.
“It was clear to anyone who saw this map, overlaid with the inequity in PTA funding and demographics of our neighborhood schools, that PTA funding in our well-resourced neighborhoods was contributing to the current iteration of systemic, historical racism,” explained Andrea Dimond. She added, “We also recognized that many of our schools had recently adopted Anti Racism Resolutions, and this felt like a very concrete, actionable step PTAs could take to address the underlying reasons that some schools don’t have the same access to resources.”
Traditional, charitable models of giving don’t acknowledge the impacts of centuries of racism, sexism and ableism on our economic, health and educational systems. The move toward shifting resources is an intentional redistribution of wealth from those who have benefited from centuries of wealth accumulation to those who have suffered generations of systemic racism. “Fundshifting asks us to question why we have such an extreme division of wealth between our neighboring PTAs and examine the positive actions we can take toward disrupting systems of oppression,” Kristen Corning Bedford added.
Advisory Committee members were selected by their schools to determine the formula of who is eligible to receive funds and how the funds will be split. This year the Advisory Committee was made up of parents and teachers from Concord Elementary, Gatewood Elementary, Genesee Hill Elementary, Highland Park Elementary, Lafayette Elementary, Pathfinder K8, Roxhill Elementary, Sanislo Elementary and West Seattle Elementary. They used OSPI’s Washington State Report Card data on Enrollment of Underserved Groups and SPS Equity Tiers to make their determination.
How to Participate:
Support the newly formed West Seattle Public School Equity Fund :
Come to their kickoff celebration Thursday, June 16th, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way, from 5-6:30pm. All are welcome.
If you have a student at one of the West Seattle public gradeschools, including K8, and would like more information about how your school can participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to your school PTA.
To make an individual donation (which helps cover administrative costs), you can send a check to the West Seattle Public School Equity Fund’s fiscal sponsor, Delridge Neighborhood Development Association
West Seattle, Washington