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Campaign Victory

Seattle Public School Board Authorizes $18M for Clean Energy Investments in the 2022 School Levy

In a unanimous decision yesterday, the Seattle School Board voted to include $18M for clean energy investments in the 2022 SPS capital projects levy. This funding is a critical step to realizing the goals of the 2021 Clean Schools Resolution and Seattle’s Green New Deal. 

“Global leaders gathered at COP 26 could take a lesson here. The climate crisis is already happening: targets like ‘net zero’ by 2050 are painfully too little, tragically too late. And climate targets without community investments are just promises on paper. Real climate action means funding projects that reduce our climate pollution, build community resilience, and create good living-wage careers in the green economy — and with this vote, Seattle Public Schools is leading the way.” — Jess Wallach, 350 Seattle

Investing funding in clean energy through the 2022 levy makes progress towards the SPS Clean Schools Resolution commitment to 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2027, with the combined use of Seattle City Light and renewable energy sources installed on District property. 

“By investing in renewables that can store energy, SPS can also build climate resilience in neighborhoods across Seattle. When the power goes out — like it did for many in this summer’s deadly heatwave — schools with solar power can serve as essential community hubs, cooling centers, and emergency shelter. This will benefit the health of Seattle students and our whole community.” — Alexa Fay, registered nurse and former SPS student 

Through these clean energy investments, SPS will create new living-wage, union jobs directly benefit SPS students and their families thanks to the SPS student community workforce agreement.

“The Seattle School Board took a historic step toward making our schools more resilient to the ways climate change is hurting students in Seattle. This plan will benefit our entire community because we will build this infrastructure with good union jobs, and hopefully many of them go to SPS graduates.” — Nicole Grant, MLK Labor Council 

Over 500 SPS students, family members, staff and community members signed a petition in support of Solar Schools. In the months leading up to the decision, they called, emailed, and testified to the SPS Board in support of climate action. MLK Labor Council also weighed in, passing a resolution in September in support of clean energy investments in the 2022 Capital Projects levy.

At yesterday’s board meeting, SPS students, families and community members applauded the Board’s decision: 

“It’s tough explaining to my young kids that deadly heat waves like the one we had in June are here to stay, and here to stay because of the bad energy choices that we’ve made. But it’s even harder to think of them coming of age and seeing the adults in their lives not treating the climate crisis like an emergency. Investing in clean energy through the 2022 School levy is tangible proof that we’re investing in our kids’ futures.” – Dave McCaul, SPS parent 

“Our schools need to teach by example, for what may be the most important issue of all time. This vote matters to me because I want to grow up in a world that values me and my future.” – Macail, SPS high school student 

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