According to information from WA state education and local District officials, there are several Western WA school districts where consolidation and closures could affect some schools.

  Seattle, Olympia, and Bellevue appear to be the hardest hit

Some Districts, including Eastern WA, are seeing upticks in enrollment, but others are still below the 2019-2020 pre-COVID school year. Some of these Districts are facing the possibility of having to close some schools or consolidate others.

Three Districts in particular stand out.

  The Columbian is reporting Bellevue's enrollments are down 11 percent vs. pre-COVID, two elementary schools were closed at the start of this year, and now a consolidation and possible closure of a middle school is on the table.

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Seattle School District officials said nothing was planned for the 2024-25 school year, but it is likely there could be consolidations and closures for the following year. Seattle's biggest issue is trying to bridge an estimated $105 million dollar shortfall in their budget, covering the 104 schools in the District. Seattle public school enrollment is down 9.3 percent

Olympia, to the south, is also facing declines. Their District has dropped 5.8 percent vs. pre-COVID enrollments, and they need to close up a $3.5 million dollar budget shortfall. Closing one elementary school would save about $1 million.  A consultant has told officials to continue to expect fewer students over the next decade. consolidations and closures at the elementary and middle school levels are looming.

Inflation is also cited as a cause for some of the school budget shortfalls.

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