Petition update

Thank You and Updates

Fanny Yang
Seattle, WA, United States

Dec 23, 2015 — Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition! Thank you for spreading the word and sharing how much #inclusionmatters. Your voices are our strongest allies as we continue to demand the district provide the most inclusive services.

Media:

If you haven’t already, please read and share the story from Crosscut on this decision. http://crosscut.com/2015/12/inclusive-kindergarten-faces-seattle-schools-axe/

We are continuing to work with other media outlets to share our story- thank you for contacting them and asking them to cover this issue. Continue to share your stories with #inclusionmatters. You can also share stories about how inclusion has impacted your life at inclusionmattersnow.tumblr.com.

Response from the Seattle School District:

There still has not been an official response from the Seattle School District. Wyeth Jessee’s form letter response to this community’s incredibly personal stories provided the little information we have to this point. Through various unofficial statements, we continue to hear contradicting rationales without supporting evidence, clear explanation, or attempts at solutions.

A Time Line:

Our community was not consulted in the decision to cut funding for this program. Our community continues to be ignored by decision makers. As we seek to be heard we still have not been told who made this decision or when this decision was made. We are asking that the school district come to the table in good faith to seek a solution. As the timing has been most painful and immediately impactful for rising preschool families, we want this to be done before February 17th. That will be the first day of open enrollment and would allow families to participate in the open enrollment process for the EEU for 2016-2017, as they had planned.

Supporting the School Board:

The school board’s website states:
“It is the belief of the Board of Directors and Superintendent that they are partners in the governance team of Seattle Public Schools. Both must do their jobs well for the organization to be successful and for the governance team as a whole to be effective.”

We would like to support them in this endeavor. We genuinely thank the school board members who have expressed interest in examining the decision to defund EEU kindergarten and are listening to the impact on the community. We appreciate their concern and would like to partner with them to promote the best education possible for all of our children. They have an incredibly difficult job and heavy responsibility; we want to share useful facts and information as well as our passion for inclusion.

For this reason we will be attending the first Seattle School Board meeting of 2016. We will show our support for the program and inclusion at the January 6th Seattle Board Meeting (4:15 PM). Please know as fellow advocates for inclusion, we invite you to join us. We want to share our stories with the board and provide them with facts about the impact of this program. Our hope is that with this information, they can be responsive to the voices of the families the district has the privilege of serving.

Continuing Forward:

Our immediate goal is to restore funding to EEU kindergarten, allowing families to enroll for the 2016-2017 school year. However, our larger vision involves excellent, inclusive educational services for all. A world in which everyone is a full member – regardless of background, identity, or ability is a basic human right. By refusing to accept excuses, continuing the conversation, and holding decision makers accountable we can work together to make this world a reality.

#inclusionmatters

Jordan Taitingfong
Fanny Yang


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