Mayor Ed Murray issued the following statement of support for Seattle School teachers’ Black Lives Matter efforts:
“I stand in solidarity with the 2,000 Seattle teachers’ who held “Black Lives Matter” rallies and activities today.
“Raising awareness of the need to address educational disparities is more important than ever. 35 percent of African American students do not graduate on time or at all. Many others are not adequately prepared for secondary educations or living wage jobs.
“Additionally, the fact that Seattle has the fifth-largest gap in achievement between African American and white students among the 200 biggest school districts in the U.S. is unacceptable and immoral.
“We need to do more. Together, we must eliminate institutional racism that has historically fueled the gap that divides too many of our students. I am committed to partnering with the School District in expanding educational achievement and making investments that lead to living wage careers. This begins with quality and accessible early learning opportunities, which is why I am committed to expanding the Seattle Preschool Program. I am also deepening investments in the ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ program for middle school youth. In the coming weeks I look forward to announcing the recommendations of the Mayor’s Education Summit.
“Not only is this course correction the right thing to do, but closing the achievement gap is critical to building a skilled workforce prepared to fully participate in the economy of the future. The viability and long-term sustainability of our economy is directly linked to the academic success of all of our students, especially African American students. Students today are our workforce of tomorrow.”