Murray calls for $2.65M for additional buses; proposes going back to 2 start times for Seattle schools

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan to partner with Seattle Public Schools to improve start times Monday. His plan also adds additional buses and the hiring of more crossing guards through $2.65 million in Families & Education Levy funds.

“The City of Seattle is happy to contribute this funding to help the School District better serve our students and put them in a position to succeed,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “This use of Families and Education Levy resources will go to implementing a better bell schedule and helping our students get to and from school safely. These are our children and I am committed to ensure they have all the tools they need to get a great education.”

After listening to parents, community partners and teachers, the City concluded that the health and academic welfare of students would be greatly increased by supporting the change of Seattle Public School start times from the current three-tier system to a two-tier one. This change will cost $2.3M in startup costs, which the Mayor will propose to the Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee as well as City Council.

This means that in 2017-18, schools would start at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The change would build on our efforts to improve academic outcomes by aligning school start times with student sleep patterns.

"Early data show that SPS high school students are already benefiting from adjusted start times with increased attendance and decreased discipline," said Superintendent Larry Nyland.