Seattle Speaks: Making the Grade, April 19

In a city with a skyrocketing student population, the math isn’t adding up. Why have state lawmakers not amply funded public education for yet another year? How can we close the opportunity gap and improve outcomes for all kids?

Seattle Channel host Brian Callanan will lead a live, televised discussion, Seattle Speaks: Making the Grade, 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 19, at Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave. The community conversation will take place before a live audience. Doors open at 6 p.m. with audience instructions at 6:30 p.m. and the live televised program at 7 p.m. Seattle Speaks is presented by Seattle Channel, Seattle CityClub and Town Hall Seattle.

Admission to Seattle Speaks is free, but advance registration is required. Take the online pre-poll

Joining the panel discussion are Betty Patu, Seattle School Board president; Eden Mack, Seattle Council PTSA and Washington’s Paramount Duty; Stephen Nielsen, deputy superintendent, Seattle Public Schools; State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D-37th), chair of the House Education Committee, and State Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6th), member of the Senate Higher Education Committee. Front-row guests include Phyllis Campano, president-elect, Seattle Education Association; Sheila Edwards Lange, co-chair of the Mayor’s Education Summit and interim president, Seattle Central College; and Melissa Westbrook, Seattle Schools Community Forum.

The conversation is timely, as Mayor Ed Murray will host the city’s first Education Summit in 25 years on April 30. And there’s a lot to discuss: crowded classrooms, discipline inequity, decaying buildings and more. Are we on the right path to funding and providing a quality education for all students? What can the community do to ensure students are prepared to succeed?

Seattle Speaks: Making the Grade will be broadcast live on Seattle Channel cable 21 (HD on Comcast 321 and Wave 721) and online. Join the conversation in person or online, where you can take part in online polls and voice your opinion via e-mail and social media using the hashtag #SeattleSpeaks.

Seattle Speaks is an Emmy Award-winning series that brings together local leaders, critics, stakeholders and residents to deliberate pivotal moments in our city’s history. Previous programs have addressed minimum wage, early learning, same-sex marriage, marijuana policy, neighborhood growth, the future of Seattle’s waterfront and the intersection of privacy and technology.