(The Center Square) – The Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning will be funding 16 community-based organizations with $7.2 million to help students who have not yet met grade-level standards.
Each of the 16 organizations will receive approximately $450,000 through 2026. The city expects the collective $7.2 million to serve around 2,000 youth and young adults over the next three years.
The funds stem from the seven-year Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy. Seattle property owners would pay a rate of $0.37 per $1,000 of assessed value in property taxes, according to the city.
Data from the National Assessment of Education Progress shows that the average scores from tests given last fall throughout the U.S. declined by 4 points in reading and 9 points in math, compared to tests given in the 2019-2020 school year, and are the lowest in decades.
The City of Seattle cited results from the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to show that students at Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy-supported schools saw their grades improve. Specifically, those who met third to eighth grade math and english-language arts learning standards in spring 2022 were 43% and 52%, respectively. That is a 10- and three-point increase from fall 2021 assessment scores.
Five of the 16 organizations are first-time Department of Education and Early Learning-funding recipients and five are second-time Opportunity and Access grant awardees.
The Department of Education and Early Learning’s Opportunity and Access strategy utilizes levy funds to support Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy-defined outcomes through academic and non-academic programs dedicated to youth.
“Opportunity and Access grants pave the way for students to transcend the boundaries of basic education by taking their learning beyond the classroom,” Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning Director Dwane Chappelle said in a statement. “By centering their cultures and aspirations, these programs will inspire skills development that empowers them to define their future and take the lead on their success.”
Six organizations being awarded the $450,000 in grants from the department had projects capable of building capacity to deliver educational programming beginning as early as fall 2023 but no later than the 2024-2025 school year.
The organizations include:
Adult & Youth Learning CenterCelebrating RootsFinancial Leadership Academy The Good Foot Arts Collective’s Creating Leaders Affirming Youth curriculumMovimento Afro-latino SeattleSchool Connect Washington
The other 10 organizations being awarded the $450,000 in grants from the department demonstrated the ability to deliver quality expanded learning opportunities, as well as college and career readiness through new or existing youth programs, according to the city. These organizations are set to begin in the 2023-2024 school year.
The 10 awarded recipients include:
ACE AcademyEast African Community ServicesEmpowering Youth & Families OutreachEritrean Association in Greater Seattle’s Strong Eritrean Youth programFEEST SeattleFriends of the Children—SeattleGeeking Out Kids of ColorKandelia’s Building Connections program South End StoriesSTEM Path Innovation Network’s Husky Enrichments, Academics, Recreation, and Tutoring program