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    Whittier PTA Budget

    Seeking Input from the Whittier Community

    It is budget season for Seattle Public Schools (SPS). Whittier received its 2019-2020 funding allocations from SPS at the end of February. In March, Whittier staff will make strategic funding requests of the Whittier PTA to support identified goals and growth areas for Whittier students. The following information outlines what this means for the Whittier PTA and our families. Please review and share your input via the Whittier PTA budget survey.

    What You Need to Know (In a Nutshell)

    • SPS lost funding and flexibility in the 2018 state legislature's attempt to address shortages in state-provided school funding (“the McCleary fix”—see our “Resources” page for links to articles and websites that provide some background information). In 2019-2020, SPS will have to reduce staffing and make program cuts throughout the district.
    • Individual school budgets are based on projected enrollment. SPS projects decreased enrollment at Whittier next year, which will result in additional decreased funding at Whittier.
    • Between these district-wide budget challenges and projected lower enrollment, Whittier faces the prospect of several staffing cuts in the 2019-2020 school year:
      • a ½-time employee allocation that currently funds 2.5 of 4 days of the Literacy Specialist position;
      • a ½-day of nursing; and
      • 2-½ days of Specialist instruction (e.g., P.E., Performing Arts, and Visual Arts).
      • (See the 2019-2020 Expected SPS Staffing Allocations for details on SPS allocation models.)
    • Whittier staff may ask the Whittier PTA to provide funding for staffing grants to mitigate some of these expected staffing cuts.
    • In addition, Whittier PTA already provides funding for the following partial positions in 2018-2019:
      • ½-day (of 4 days) of the Literacy Specialist position;
      • 1 day (of 3 days) of the Nurse position; and
      • ½-day (of 3 days) of the Librarian position.

    Budget Development Process and Timing

    • The Whittier Building Leadership Team (BLT) is a committee that, among other responsibilities, facilitates the development of the school budget in late February and early March. It is comprised of the Principal, 2 parent representatives, 4 classroom teachers, 3 additional staff members, and invited community members. 
    • Whittier PTA evaluates its current cash position, expected cash flow, and an assessment of fundraising opportunities in order to provide the BLT with a ballpark assessment of funds available to support the school budget. The PTA does NOT make staffing requests or influence staffing decisions.
    • The BLT considers its budget allocations from SPS and potential funding from Whittier PTA to develop budget recommendations, including staffing allocations, for Whittier staff. Whittier staff vote to approve the final building budget, including any requests to Whittier PTA, to provide funding for staff positions.
    • Whittier PTA members vote at the March PTA Community Meeting on any funding requests of the PTA to support school staff positions for the following school year.
    • Review the January 2019 PTA Budget Town Hall presentation for an overview of the budget process, including critical dates for the school, BLT and PTA.


    Whittier PTA Budget

    • The Whittier PTA forms a Budget Committee in late January / early February each year to oversee the development of its annual budget for the following school year. Participation on the PTA Budget Committee is open to all community members. For an overview of the 2018-2019 Whittier PTA Budget, click here.
    • In developing its budget for the following school year, the PTA Budget Committee reviews its current-year budget for opportunities to keep, add, update and/or remove support for line items.
    • To align with SPS budget timelines, Whittier PTA members vote on funding support for staff positions at a PTA Community Meeting in mid-March. As a reminder, Whittier PTA does NOT make staffing requests or influence staffing decisions—the Whittier staff makes a funding request for support of positions it has identified as priorities. 
    • The remainder of the Whittier PTA budget is approved by members at the PTA Community Meeting in May.


    Provide Input

    Whittier family input is critical during this annual budget process—we encourage all members of our community to share your values, thoughts and ideas about how the Whittier PTA can best support our students, staff and families. We are particularly interested to hear from parents of color and LGBTQ+ parents; and parents with students of color, LGBTQ+ or gender-diverse students, or students with special needs!

    • Complete this anonymous PTA budget survey.
    • Attend the March 14th Whittier PTA Community Meeting to vote on PTA funding of staff positions.

      Principal Clark and the Whittier PTA Board will discuss the opportunities and trade-offs of proposed funding options at this meeting. Of note, Whittier PTA has a one-time budget surplus of approximately $50,000 (see the October 2018 PTA Community Meeting presentation for more information) that could be used to support staffing positions in 2019-2020.

      Please contact to let us know how we can help make participation possible for your family (e.g., translation services, childcare, meeting format, etc.). 
    Please contact the Whittier PTA Budget Committee with questions or concerns about the PTA budget process. Thank you for your engagement and support of our Whittier Wildcats—we look forward to seeing you at the Whittier PTA Community Meeting on March 14. Paws up!