SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools (SPS), the state's largest school district, says nearly all of its staff is in compliance with Gov. Jay Inslee's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The district says 99% of its 7,283 employees are in compliance. That number includes 99% of all teachers, 100% of all principals and 99% of management staff.
A total of 205 employees have been granted a medical or religious exemption, according to the district. There are some employees who are taking leave in order to complete their vaccination process, the district said.
“The vaccination rates of our employees reflect the tremendous dedication of our teachers and staff to student and community health and well-being,” said SPS Interim Superintendent Brent Jones. “Seattle Public Schools’ employees, the Seattle Education Association, and Principals’ Association of Seattle Schools, have prioritized safety so our students can focus on learning.”
Monday is the deadline for Washington workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs.
The mandate, which Inslee announced in August amid soaring delta variant cases, requires most state and health care workers and school employees to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs. Employees can apply for a medical or religious exemption, but there is no testing option.
SPS announced Friday it had to suspend 142 of the district’s 600 school bus routes due to a national bus driver shortage that’s compounded by the vaccine mandate.
The district said it was already down about 50 drivers daily and now it's losing an additional 20 drivers who have chosen not to get vaccinated.