Seattle School Board member Linda Lomax says the city needs to address the high-school graduation rate, which she blames on a lack of teachers and administrators.
Lomax, who represents the city’s westside, says she has been working on the topic with Seattle’s mayor, Ed Murray, who is pushing for more investment in K-12 education.
She’s also introduced a bill that would allow schools to close during peak hours for the same reasons as during the summer, when students aren’t attending classes.
The bill is backed by the Seattle Teachers Union, the school district and a coalition of community groups.
“This is a real crisis,” Lomakas said.
“And we have a lot of problems in Seattle right now.
We have a large high-poverty school population, a large middle-class school population.
We also have a big high-performing school population that’s also in the city.”
Seattle’s schools are the nation’s sixth-highest in terms of graduation rates, according to the American Federation of Teachers.
The district has a graduation rate of 71.8 percent.
“We’re not going to have to close the schools in order to make sure that the students that we need to be able to get to school, the students who we have to teach, get to their high school graduation rate,” Lomoax said.