Seattle Public Schools elections (2013)

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2013 Seattle Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
November 5, 2013
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
Elections
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
References
See also
Washington
Seattle Public Schools
King County, Washington ballot measures
Washington local ballot measures
Flag of Washington.png

Three seats were up for election on the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors on November 5, 2013. Seats in Districts 4, 5 and 7 were on the ballot. Sue Peters defeated Suzanne Dale Estey for the District 4 seat, while Stephan Blanford defeated LaCrese Green for the District 5 seat. Betty Patu was unopposed for the District 7 seat.

Major issues facing the district include legal proceedings against the district regarding sexual abuse of students, budget strains and growing enrollment.

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.[1]

Demographics

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%.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
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[2]
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 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[3]

Method of board member selection

The Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors consists of seven members elected to four-year terms. Each member runs within specific districts in the primaries followed by a citywide vote in the general election. There was a primary election on August 6, 2013 in Districts 4 and 5 while incumbent Betty Patu is running unopposed in District 7. Seats in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 6 will be up for election on November 3, 2015.

Elections in Washington require candidates to pay filing fees equal to 1% of a position's annual salary. Board members in Seattle can be reimbursed up to $4,800 for district activities but do not receive salaries, which eliminates the filing fee. Candidates were required to file nominating petitions by May 17, 2013 to qualify for the November ballot. Each candidate could also submit a photo and statement of 100 words or less by August 23, 2013 for the county's local voter pamphlet.[4]


Elections

2013

Candidates

[edit]

  • Suzanne Dale Estey
    • Graduate, Whitman College and University of Washington
    • Economic consultant, Dale Estey Partnerships
  • Sue Peters
    • Graduate, University of California-San Diego and Stanford University
    • Journalist and editor

  • Betty Patu
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Antioch University, Seattle
    • Retired teacher

Election results

Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, General election, District 4, Four-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSue Peters 54.8% 92,552
     Nonpartisan Suzanne Dale Estey 44.8% 75,758
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.4% 642
Total Votes 168,952
Source: King County Elections, "Certified Results," November 25, 2013


Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors, General election, District 5, Four-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngStephan Blanford 88.8% 144,320
     Nonpartisan LaCrese Green 10.6% 17,286
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.5% 852
Total Votes 162,458
Source: King County Elections, "Certified Results," November 25, 2013


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

Endorsements

On October 2, 2013, The Seattle Times endorsed Estey in District 4 and Blanford in District 5 ahead of the November 5, 2013 general election.[5]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $231,004.87 and spent a total of $202,220.67 during the election, according to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission.[6]

In the District 4 race, candidates received a total of $191,958.74 and spent a total of $174,809.12.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Suzanne Dale Estey $148,225.14 $146,706.56 $1,518.58
Dean McColgan $2,132.73 $986.80 $1,145.93
Sue Peters $41,600.87 $27,115.76 $14,485.11

In the District 5 race, candidates received a total of $39,046.13 and spent a total of $27,411.55.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Stephan Blanford $37,375.32 $25,877.97 $11,497.35
LaCrese Green $1,670.81 $1,533.58 $137.23

In the District 7 race, no contributions or expenditures were reported during the election.

Forums

Seattle CityClub hosted a candidate forum on September 26 at the Vera Center that was moderated by local high school students. The forum featured Estey, Peters and Blanford with Green unable to attend. All three candidates generally agreed on their beliefs about Common Core standards, discipline in district schools and the impacts of income inequality on student performance.[7]

Primary

Primary elections were held on August 6, 2013 for Districts 4 and 5 of the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors. Estey and Peters advanced in District 4 while Blanford and Green advanced in District 5 to the November general election.[8]

Seattle Board of Directors, Primary, District 4, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSuzanne Dale Estey 47.8% 6,422
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSue Peters 41.4% 5,560
     Nonpartisan Dean McColgan 10.9% 1,461
Total Votes 13,443
Source: King County Elections, "August 6, 2013 primary election results," August 20, 2013


Seattle Board of Directors, Primary, District 5, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngStephan Blanford 79.3% 8,574
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLaCrese Green 13.1% 1,415
     Nonpartisan Olu Thomas 7.6% 827
Total Votes 10,816
Source: King County Elections, "August 6, 2013 primary election results," August 20, 2013

Past elections

2011

Seattle Board of Directors, District 1, Four-year term, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSharon Peaslee 50.6% 76,806
     Nonpartisan Peter Maier Incumbent 49.4% 74,903
Total Votes 151,709
Source: King County Elections, "Election results," November 28, 2011


Seattle Board of Directors, District 2, Four-year term, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngSherry Carr Incumbent 52.5% 78,265
     Nonpartisan Kate Martin 47.5% 70,826
Total Votes 149,091
Source: King County Elections, "Election results," November 28, 2011


Seattle Board of Directors, District 3, Four-year term, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngHarium Martin-Morris Incumbent 58.7% 87,493
     Nonpartisan Michelle Buetow 41.3% 61,536
Total Votes 149,029
Source: King County Elections, "Election results," November 28, 2011


Seattle Board of Directors, District 6, Four-year term, November 8, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMarty McLaren 54.4% 80,949
     Nonpartisan Steve Sundquist Incumbent 45.6% 67,857
Total Votes 148,806
Source: King County Elections, "Election results," November 28, 2011


What was at stake?

Incumbent Betty 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 on November 5, 2013.

Issues

Influence of Great Seattle Schools PAC

Great Seattle Schools PAC has attracted $100,405 in donations through mid-October 2013. The PAC ran a TV ad before the August 6 primary that portrayed Estey as a reformer and Peters as a supporter of existing board policies.[9] The group also produced a mailer titled "Inside the Mind of Sue Peters: A Vast Conspiracy" with an ad against Peters on one side and an ad supporting Estey on the other side.[10] A report by KUOW found that land developer Matt Griffin donated $30,500 to the group with smaller amounts from former Microsoft executive Christopher Larson and businessman Nick Hanauer. The PAC's fundraising totals are not limited by the $1,800 per cycle ceiling on direct contributions to candidates approved by the Washington State Legislature in 2012.[11]

Increased enrollment

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.[12] This enrollment increase coincides with declining money from the federal stimulus program as well as cuts to support services in recent budgets.[13] 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.[14]

Sexual abuse lawsuits

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.[15]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Seattle Public Schools election in 2013:[4]

Deadline Event
April 29, 2013 First day to file nominating petitions by mail
May 13, 2013 First day to file nominating petitions online or in-person
May 17, 2013 Last day to file nominating petitions
August 6, 2013 Primary day
August 23, 2013 Last day to submit candidate materials for voter pamphlet
November 5, 2013 Election day
November 26, 2013 Certification of vote results by county
December 5, 2013 Certification of vote results by state

Additional elections on the ballot

The Seattle Public Schools race shared the ballot with additional city and county measures. Seattle ballots included the race for mayor, four seats on the Seattle City Council, the city attorney and four commissioners for the Port of Seattle. Voters also saw the following King County offices on the ballot:

  • King County Executive
  • Metropolitan King County Council (Five seats)
  • King County Sheriff
  • King County Court of Appeals
  • King County Superior Court
  • Special districts
    • King County Airport
    • King County Fire Protection
    • King County Public Hospital
    • King County Water

The ballot also featured a proposed charter amendment for the City of Seattle to create districts for City Council seats as well as a proposition to create public financing for council races. King County voters also voted on renewing an existing levy to fund emergency medical services and a proposition to create a Department of Public Defense. There were also two statewide initiatives and five advisory votes on the November 5, 2013 ballot.[16]

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 U.S. Census, "Quick Facts: Seattle," accessed August 1, 2013
  2. King County Elections, "Election Archive," accessed August 1, 2013
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 King County Elections, "Candidate Manual," accessed August 2, 2013
  5. Seattle Times, "Editorial: Dale Estey, Blanford for Seattle School Board," October 2, 2013
  6. Washington Public Disclosure Commission, "Local Candidates," accessed December 17, 2013
  7. Seattle Times, "Students quiz Seattle School Board candidates," September 27, 2013
  8. King County Elections, "August 2013 Primary Election Results," accessed August 7, 2013
  9. Seattle Times, " Independent group enters school board campaign with negative ad," August 1, 2013
  10. Seattle Times, "Independent group mails another negative ad in Seattle school board race," November 1, 2013
  11. KUOW, "Could A Wealthy Few Decide Seattle's School Board Races?," October 18, 2013
  12. Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. "Student Enrollment Cohort Projections, 2012," accessed August 2, 2013
  13. Seattle Public Schools, "Budget Office, Current and Past Budgets," accessed August 2, 2013
  14. Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, "Teachers ratify contract, Seattle Public Schools start new year Wednesday," September 3, 2013
  15. KUOW, "Seattle School District Faces $29 Million In Sex Abuse Liability," July 22, 2013
  16. King County Elections, "2013 Offices Subject to Election," accessed August 2, 2013