(The Center Square) – Seattle Public Schools has adopted its budget for the 2024-2025 school year, including using a short-term loan to lower the district's budget deficit.

The General Fund Operating Budget for the 2024-2025 school year is set at $1.25 billion. General fund revenue is projected to be approximately $1.3 billion for next school year, meaning total revenue does not cover the district’s planned spending. As a result, the district is utilizing a loan to cover the deficit.

The district is taking out a short-term loan totaling $27.5 million to help balance the budget for next school year. The loan will have to be repaid by the end of June 2026.

Seattle Public Schools faced a projected deficit of $104 million for the 2024-2025 school year. The district cites insufficient funding from the state, a decline in enrollment, and previous staffing decisions as the primary reasons for the structural shortfall.

With the new budget adopted, the projected deficit for the 2025-2026 school year is approximately $94 million. The budget deficit was at $131 million in the last school year.

Seattle Public Schools still intends to consolidate 70 elementary schools into approximately 50 K-5 sites, with 10 per region after the 2024-2025 school year.

According to the district, closing a school could save Seattle Public Schools between $750,000 to $2 million.

Enrollment at Seattle Public Schools since the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to decrease. The district had 49,197 students enrolled in the 2023-2024 school year. It is projected to decrease to 48,329 next school year.

District enrollment peaked in 1964 with 94,042 students throughout 117 buildings.

For the 2024-25 school year, Seattle Public Schools’ per-pupil expenditures are projected to be $26,292.

The majority of funding – $759.6 million, or 60% of the 2024-2025 budget – is dedicated to teaching activities.

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Brent Jones said the district will look to the state to help continue reducing the budget deficit.

“Whether Seattle Public Schools will need to make additional reductions on top of school consolidations and a change in bell times will depend in large part on the outcome of the 2025 Legislative session,” Jones said in a letter to the district community.

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