Federal Way School Superintendent Tom Murphy paid his traditional start-of-school visit to the ed board today. He told us the district will be asking voters in November to approve a scaled-down version of the $245 million bond issue that failed in February.
What really interested, us, though, was Murphy’s update on the remarkable demographic changes in Federal Way. Often thought of as a largely white, suburban district, Federal Way in fact more closely resembles an urban district like Tacoma. Its students have a 45 percent poverty rate, and this year for the first time Caucasian students may constitute a minority of district enrollment. Eighty-six different languages are spoken among the district’s students, and nearly 10 percent of them have a native language other than English. More details on the district’s website here.
Despite such challenges, two of the district’s schools were recognized last year for success in reducing the achievement gap among minority students.