Betty Patu

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Betty Patu
Betty Patu.jpg
Seattle Public Schools, District 7
Term ends
November 2017
Years in position 5
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 3, 2009
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sAntioch University, Seattle
Master'sAntioch University, Seattle
ProfessionIntervention program manager
Office website
Betty Patu currently represents District 7 on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors in Washington. She was first elected to the board in 2009. Patu won re-election without opposition on November 5, 2013.


Patu received a Bachelor's degree in Educational Leadership from Antioch University, Seattle. She later earned a Master's degree in Educational Administration from Antioch University. Patu has worked for 32 years as an intervention program manager with Seattle Public Schools.[1]



See also: Seattle Public Schools elections (2013)


Patu sought re-election to the District 7 seat on the Board of Directors without opposition on November 5, 2013.

Election results

Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, General election, District 7, Four-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBetty Patu Incumbent 98.2% 121,914
     Nonpartisan Write-in 1.8% 2,283
Total Votes 124,197
Source: King County Elections, "Certified Results," November 25, 2013


Patu reported no contributions or expenditures to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.[2]


Patu first won election to the board on November 3, 2009. She defeated fellow challenger Wilson Chin for the District 7 seat that was held by Cheryl Chow, who did not seek re-election.[3][1]

Seattle Board of Directors, District 6, November 3, 2009
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngBetty Patu 68.1% 113,106
     Nonpartisan Wilson Chin 31.9% 53,034
Total Votes 166,140
Source: King County Elections

What was at stake?

Incumbent Patu sought re-election without opposition in District 7. Districts 4 and 5 have new members as incumbents Michael DeBell and Kay Smith-Blum did not file for re-election. Both districts held primaries on August 6, 2013 with the top two candidates in each district moving to the general election that was held on November 5, 2013.


The Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors confront strained resources and legal cases stemming from past abuses of students. The district experienced a 9.5% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2012.[4] This enrollment increase coincides with declining money from the federal stimulus program as well as cuts to support services in recent budgets.[5] These issues played into disagreements between the district and the Seattle Education Association (SEA) over a new contract for teachers. On September 3, teachers voted to approve a two-year contract that increased pay by 2% and included test scores in teacher evaluations.[6]

Another area of concern for the district is a series of lawsuits brought by six former and current students seeking damages totaling $29 million. These damages are related to instances of sexual abuse by former teacher Phil McGee as well as an incident where a student was convicted of sexual assault against another student.[7]

About the district

See also: Seattle Public Schools, Washington
Seattle Public Schools is located in King County, Washington
Seattle Public Schools is located in the City of Seattle in King County, Washington. The population of Seattle was 608,660 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[8]


Seattle outperforms state averages for higher education achievement and median income while lagging behind in poverty levels. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (55.8%) exceeds the state average (31.4%). The 2010 U.S. Census calculated Seattle's median income at $61,856 while the state median income was $58,890. Seattle had a poverty rate of 13.2% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 12.5%.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2012[8]
Race Seattle (%) Washington (%)
White 69.5 77.3
Black or African American 7.9 3.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 1.5
Asian 13.8 7.2
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.4 0.6
Two or More Races 5.1 4.7
Hispanic or Latino 6.6 11.2

Presidential Voting Pattern[9]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 68.7 28.3
2008 70.0 28.0
2004 65.0 33.7
2000 60.0 34.4

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100.0%. Each column will add up to 100.0% after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[10]

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See also

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