” “Leslie fights for students, making sure the kids are at the heart of everything Seattle Public Schools does.”

King County Council member Joe McDermott

Hello – I’m Leslie Harris, I’m running for Re-Election to the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors District 6 – West Seattle & South Park

– I was elected in 2015 and have served on its Ex. Committee, as Vice President and am finishing my second term as President –

I ran on the themes of Transparency, Trust & Equity before and am again –

We’ve made progress but not enough and not fast enough – our 53,000 students deserve better in this, one of the richest, fastest growing and most well educated cities in the country.

Our Boards have worked collaboratively and collegially with staff and have hired a new Superintendent, adopted more curricula in four years than in decades past, emphasized and budgeted for more professional development for our teachers and staff than ever before, adopted a responsible Capital Leys with a focus on high needs schools, the maintenance backlog and will have opened 8 schools on time and on budget.  The voters agreed overwhelmingly.  This, in the midst of ongoing funding crises.

I was the lead on the historic Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Seattle and co-chair of the Community Engagement Task Force, and Superintendent Search process – all big lifts and all successful.

We’ve done hard work supporting our Race & Equity policies, training and passed an extraordinary 5 year strategic plan that focuses on underserved students and operations. 

I have regular community meetings – often times with lasagna!

Seattle is my home, I live in the Delridge/Highland Park neighborhood with my husband of 33 years, I was a student of SPS, my daughter was a student of SPS and this week will be a UW Graduate.  My foster attended Middle College High School – it saved her life – as well as many others. 

I am a litigation paralegal working with victims in my day job which also prepares me for analytical thinking and teamwork.

People say this is a thankless job – I vehemently disagree – we get thanks with every student that achieves and or is helped by our capable staff and community – it is an honor and privilege to serve – I want to keep my job and build on our successes and reach higher with my colleagues and team. 

I ask for your vote.

The 34th Democrats is my home – as a member of the State Central Committee for years and before that the 11th Leg. District before redistrictin, as its chair and State Committee rep – Those that have mentored and coached me I thank you.

I would be grateful for your endorsement.

We can do so much better for our kids and families and communities.

I am running for reelection the SPS Board because I don’t believe the status quo is good enough.

We need to:

✔ Put more dollars in the classrooms.

✔ Address the cycles of high stakes testing.

✔ Address the current and looming capacity crisis.

✔ Address the decades of maintenance backlogs.

✔ Demand more transparency and more follow-up to unanswered questions.

✔ Replicate what is working and move away from failures.

✔Clean up outstanding Audits & Oversight Orders for Special Education (SpED), English Language Learners (ELL) and other outstanding audit findings.

✔Demand equity in program placement throughout the city.

✔ Quit using Special Ed, ELL and Highly Capable students as capacity planning tools.

✔ Demand that the District’s Legal Department mediate claims on a timely basis, thus, preventing costly litigation.

✔ Return counselors to the Elementary schools and college/career counselors to High schools.

✔ Increase attention to trades education and pathways.

✔ Have robust Native American curricula.

✔ Address the lack of successful Middle & High School Math Curricula.

✔ Support Alternative and Creative Approach Schools.

✔ Treat our teachers and staff with respect.

✔ Change the bell-times to allow teenagers more sleep – The single most important way to close the achievement gap.

✔ Demand accountability and leadership.

Leslie has attended board and committee meetings at the central office for over 10 years. She has attended Directors’ community meetings in all parts of the city. She has worked on other Directors’ campaigns. She understands the commitment for what is essentially a volunteer position. She has served on PTSAs at Pathfinder K-8 and at Chief Sealth. Leslie’s services on numerous boards – local, state and national, make her a great fit and she understands policymaking and fiduciary duty. Her 30 years as a litigation paralegal researching facts, law and reverse engineering systems on behalf of victims and changing worker safety laws will allow her to get to the heart of the issues.