Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell

Archive for the 'Education' Category

Apr 04 2012

Cleveland High School Soaring Eagles Auction – Saturday, 4/28, 5:00 – 9:30 pm

Published by under Education

Help Support Educational Excellence at Cleveland!

I want to extend a personal invitation to Cleveland High School’s Fifth Annual Red and White, Soaring Eagles Auction on Saturday, April 28th from 5:00 to 9:30 p.m. at the Brockey Conference Center on the South Seattle Community College Campus. Please come and support this very worthwhile event. I am Co-Chairing with Cleveland Alum Phil Petty; it’s going to be a blast.

Cleveland is transforming itself and maintaining a commitment to diversity and academic excellence. It is now a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Option School and as such, they offer cutting-edge curriculum in robotics, biomedical science, aerospace, and computer gaming. Its students are over 80% students of color with 76% being eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch. We are going to build a future for these kids and I need your help. Please get involved; these students are worth it.

Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation and attending the event. Thank you for your generous and thoughtful consideration.

Help Support Educational Excellence at Cleveland!

To attend the auction, donate an item for the silent or live auction, or make a cash donation, click here!

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Sep 27 2011

Council passes initiative to provide high-speed Internet access and technology skills training to low-income students

Press Release issued 9/27/11

Council passes initiative to provide high-speed Internet access and technology skills training to low-income students

The Great Student Initiative will help educate and prepare Seattle students

SEATTLE – The City Council voted unanimously on Monday to approve the Great Student Initiative (Resolution 31328). Legislated by Councilmember Bruce Harrell, the Great Student Initiative will serve as a model for the nation in bringing together and maximizing public-private partnerships to help students and families acquire broadband Internet access and technology skills training.

The program can help approximately 16,000 of the 47,000 students in Seattle Public Schools on the free lunch program. Only 46 percent of households in Seattle with incomes averaging under $30,000 receive high-speed Internet access. The public-private partnership will map out resources for a sustainable program to achieve Council’s policy directives in making sure students from all socio-economic backgrounds have access to high-speed Internet and vital job skills training.

“I am excited to launch Seattle’s Great Student Initiative and lead a national effort to educate our students on important digital literacy skills,” said Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “The information and communication technology job sector contributes over $3.5 billion to Seattle’s economy and information technology job growth is projected at 22 percent in this decade, one of the fastest and more sustainable job industries. We must equip children from all backgrounds with tools to access online educational resources to compete in this global economy driven by technology, science, engineering, and mathematics. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), 77 percent of jobs in the next decade will require technology skills.”

Data from the Federal Reserve show students without home Internet access have a high school graduation rate six to eight percentage points lower than students who have access in their homes. This is a major opportunity to ensure that more students graduate.

“Seattle Public Schools is pleased to partner with the city to begin to eliminate the digital divide,” said Susan Enfield, Interim Superintendent. “We thank these companies for stepping up and helping low income families throughout Seattle.”

Through the Comcast Internet Essentials program, students on the national free lunch program will have access to $9.95 a month Internet service and a $150 netbook computer.

“Educational enrichment cannot be confined to the walls of the classroom. Connecting students to online resources at home will remove obstacles to opportunity, allowing students to compete on an even playing field and live up to their full potential,” said Kelley Dunne, President and CEO, One Economy Corporation. “The Great Student Initiative is a collaborative digital inclusion program that fully engages city leaders, corporations, teachers, parents and the community in improving education for Seattle students.”

“Getting technology and Internet access into the hands of our students is essential in building a pathway toward graduation. This will not only lead to a healthy workforce, but help in creating jobs,” said Council President Richard Conlin.

“While the world has gone digital, many low-income families have not, making passage of the Great Student Initiative especially important. Through our Internet Essentials program and continued financial commitments to digital literacy programs we look forward to doing our part to help close the digital divide,” said Len Rozek, Senior Vice President, Comcast.

“All students should have access to the building blocks of a quality education so that they can go from learning to earning,” said Sig Behrens, General Manager of U.S. Education for Microsoft. “The link between education attainment and economic growth has never been clearer. Seattle is on the leading edge of Microsoft’s Shape the Future vision, which prioritizes ensuring that low-income students have access to the same digital tools that can help to put them on par with their more connected peers. This should be made an educational priority for all, not a privilege for some.”

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May 03 2011

Councilmember Bruce Harrell to launch Great Student Initiative

Media Advisory issued May 3, 2011

Technology partnerships key focus for low-income students

SEATTLE — On Wednesday, May 4, Councilmember Bruce Harrell will introduce legislation launching the Great Student Initiative, a City of Seattle effort to establish partnerships with technology companies and financial institutions to provide Internet access to the most vulnerable students in the Seattle Public Schools. This unprecedented program will provide high-speed Internet service for $9.95 a month, 75 percent reduction from the average cost, to students in the Seattle Public School District who are eligible for the free lunch program. Seattle will be one of the first cities in the United States to address the technology inequity for young students through public/private partnerships.

WHO:
Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell and Energy, Technology and Civil Rights Committee Members
Dan MacFetridge, Microsoft
Kathy Putt, Comcast
Cobi Jackson, One Economy
Pegi McEvoy, Seattle Public Schools
Holly Ferguson, Seattle Public Schools
Steve Sundquist, Seattle School Board
Roni Ayalla, Citizens’ Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board
David Keyes, Department of Information Technology, City of Seattle
Sid Sidorowicz, Office for Education
Julie Nelson, Seattle Office for Civil Rights

WHEN: Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Council Chambers, Second Floor

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Apr 26 2011

The Great Student Initiative

I am pleased to introduce the Great Student Initiative, a new partnership program with information, communication and technology companies, and financial institutions to provide low-cost, high-speed Internet access, hardware and software for low-income students in the Seattle Public Schools, and creating a steering committee to advance the goals of the initiative. In the last 18 months, I have worked closely with Comcast and Microsoft’s Shape the Future Education program to build this public/private partnership to deliver technology access to our students. Now that the Families and Education Levy is moving forward, this technology initiative ties beautifully into our strategy of uplifting our children and eliminating the digital divide. In short, this initiative will allow the students in Seattle Public Schools who are eligible for the free lunch program according to federal standards (approximately 14,000 of 46,000), to obtain high-speed internet access at less than $10.00 per month and be furnished with a computer that allows them connectivity. This will be furnished at no or minimal cost to the city of Seattle.

Based on the City of Seattle Information Technology Residential Survey from 2009, 84% of households with incomes above $50,000 receive high-speed Internet, but only 46% of households with incomes under $30,000 receive high-speed Internet. Additionally, only 41% of respondents with no high school degree had high-speed Internet compared to 93% for respondents with a college degree. When correlating the relationship between technology access and race/ethnicity, 80% of Caucasians had high-speed Internet, 73% for Asian Pacific Islanders, 59% for African Americans, and 38% for Hispanic/Latinos. Furthermore, English speaking households had a high-speed Internet adoption rate of 77% compared to 19% for Spanish speaking households.

Seattle is ranked as the third most wired American city in terms of broadband adoption, high-speed Internet access options, and wireless Internet hot spots. Nationally ranked as the city with the eighth highest number of technology jobs, and backyard institutions like Microsoft, Amazon, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the University of Washington, we have a strategic advantage to compete to be the number one city in America that prepares its students for the new global economy.

According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, King County is projected to employ over 100,000 workers in computer and mathematical jobs by 2017, with an average annual growth rate of 2.7% between now and 2017. The United States Department of Labor projects more than 1,600,000 new IT jobs will be created in the United States by the year 2014. Eight of the nine fastest growing occupations by the year 2014 will be in the area of Information Technology. A Washington State Employment Security Department study confirms the 27% growth rate for our state as well, with some computer jobs posting growth rates of 6 % per year and higher. Between now and 2018, information technology jobs are projected to grow by 22 percent and account for 60 percent of the job growth, the fastest of all professional occupations. In King County, there are 233,000 technology jobs. On average, information technology jobs have a job multiplier of five to one.

It is imperative to equip all Seattle Public School students across all socioeconomic backgrounds with high-speed Internet, a quality computer, and software at home to compete and be successful in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Bottom line: equipping our students with these technology tools will allow them to successfully compete for jobs. The future is a global economy driven by technology and information technology plays a vital role in driving the economy of our city, county, state and nation.

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Mar 23 2010

Seattle’s Community Roundtable Stands Up for Education!

Published by under Education

On March 22, 2010, the Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable members agreed to send an advocacy letter to Governor Chris Gregoire expressing strong support for E2SHB 3026 which deals with the civil rights of students in public schools. I volunteered to draft the letter, which was eventually signed by Roundtable members, making it clear that education is a key to resolving race and social inequities. Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Community Roundtable includes institutions and organizations across the region, all committed to racial and social justice, and includes community based organizations, philanthropy, education and other public entities. Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights leads and staffs the Community Roundtable. On November 19, 2009, I introduced the Community Roundtable legislation whose mission and purpose was supported by the Council by a vote of 9-0 and signed into law by the Mayor. We want all of our kids to have the tools, support, commitment and environment to succeed. I believe we are all accountable: parents, kids, our community and our public school system. This legislation is intended to support this accountability.

What does that mean to you?

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Aug 30 2009

Seattle City Council Mentors: Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) Interns

At a recent Energy and Technology Committee meeting, I asked Seattle Youth Employment Program participants Tracelyn Moore, Hodan Dahir Hassan, Karen Wong, and Vincent Nguyen, to join the discussion at the Energy and Technology Committee at Council Chambers. We acknowledged each young man and woman for participating in the internship program at the City’s Legislative Department. Click here to view the Energy and Technology Committee meeting and the introductions of Tracelyn, Hodan, Karen, and Vincent. [http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2080916]

Each intern was provided opportunities to explore a variety of work experiences – they learned new office skills, communication skills, computer skills, office etiquette and social skills. Tracelyn, Hodan, Karen, and Vincent learned invaluable life lessons that come with working and earning a paycheck.

Each intern sat around the community table in the Council Chamber and spoke candidly about their accomplishments and aspirations:

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