Parents at Gatewood Elementary in West Seattle are scrambling to raise $90,000 to prevent one of the school’s teachers from being transferred to nearby Fairmount Park Elementary, which reopened this fall.
A group of parents calling itself Friends of Gatewood had collected about $52,000 as of Tuesday. Seattle Public Schools gave organizers a fundraising deadline for Wednesday, Oct. 8, but the school has asked for an extension.
The fundraising effort began after an official headcount of students on Oct. 1 revealed the school had fallen short of its enrollment projections, and Fairmount Park ended up with more students than expected.
This is not the first time local parents have pooled their resources to keep educators in their neighborhood schools. In Tacoma, parents collected $16,000 in 2009 to keep three teacher’s aides at Lowell Elementary. And some argue that significant fundraising by PTA groups has contributed to inequities between schools in poorer and more affluent neighborhoods, especially when that money is used to hire art teachers, reading specialists and other personnel.
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