Bullitt’s civic activism in the area of education is especially noteworthy.
After teaching elementary school in Massachusetts, Bullitt was the founding trustee of the Little School, an independent day school located in Bellevue, Washington. She also served on the board of trustees, chairing the board from 1959-1967. Over the next twenty-plus years, Bullitt dedicated much of her time to specific education issues such as desegregation, public school funding, and school volunteer programs.
In 1968, Bullitt first became involved in desegregation through her work in organizing a voluntary racial transfer program between the Lowell and Madrona elementary schools located in Seattle.
In the same year, the Seattle School District proposed the city’s first magnet school. Garfield High School, located in the largely African-American populated Central Area, was chosen for conversion and marked the beginning of Seattle’s desegregation work. School enrollment had dropped dramatically in the Central Area, and many of the area’s schools were racially isolated. Community meetings were called in 1968 to discuss the Central Area’s “school crisis.”
Bullitt attended the meetings as co-chair of Meany Junior High School’s Parent-Teacher Association, a role in which which she served from 1968 to 1970.
The meetings resulted in a proposal for a sub-district school board to represent the area’s interests. An ad hoc agreement was signed with the Seattle School Board in January 1969, creating the Central Area School Council (CASC). The advisory council was composed of sixteen elected representatives, with ten members serving as advocates for the area’s ten elementary schools.
By 1970, CASC had become frustrated by the Seattle School Board’s failure to include the council consistently in desegregation planning. In February 1971, CASC announced a school boycott to show the extent of local parents’ support for the council, but the action was largely unsuccessful in enhancing CASC’s influence in decision making.