Seattle, there’s a train wreck coming

Heads-up to anybody who lives in Seattle, might want to move here, might have kids, and/or might care about taxes ten years from now: there’s a train wreck coming. And that train wreck is school buildings. We don’t have enough of ’em. Nobody in a position of leadership in the schools or in the city is incorporating new development in its capacity planning. Seattle Public Schools hasn’t got plans in motion to purchase new buildings. The city doesn’t include funding for schools in development impact fees — those are fees that most cities have in place to ensure that when new homes are built, there will be schools for the kids to go to.

How do I know all this? I’ve been attending meetings on capacity shortages for years. I’ve seen the abysmal demographic reports the school district uses. Their projections always fall far short of enrollment. I’ve seen the game of musical chairs played with school boundaries, parents fighting tooth and nail over possession of school buildings, and portables, portables, portables.

So I’ve seen the start of the train wreck, but I’m willing to bet there’s worse to come.

That’s all for now.

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