FYI, there is no interaction with the Board during the Workshop (although they are likely to take a break and always like to talk with audience members but keep in mind, they may need a bathroom break) but you can sign up to speak at the actual Board meeting.
This article about school closures appeared in today's Times. I was surprised to see that this may come as early as next September (I need to check but I had been told the legal process takes a year.) From the article:
"Even if the district closes schools, that wouldn't save enough to fill the estimated $24 million budget gap next year.
That hole is partly due to rising costs — including those resulting from an agreement by the district five years ago to raise teacher pay so that Seattle wasn't one of the lowest-paying districts in the area. The School Board also voted last summer to add 102 new positions, even though it expected enrollment to decline. (In the end, it grew by about 300 students.)"
Also from the article:
"More school closures are far from a certainty. If the board votes to allow Goodloe-Johnson to start her evaluation, that simply would start the discussion of how many schools might be closed or merged, and how they would be chosen.
But there does seem to be some momentum in that direction.
"I'd rather close schools than lay off teachers and increase class sizes," said DeBell. "Or lay off custodians and have schools not be as clean, or lay off security staff and lessen the climate of security at schools."
There's the pragmatic Michael DeBell talking. There's no way out of this budget deficit and hard choices have to be made. (And as I said before, the only real way to get more money into this district is to get more students enrolled. Is that going to happen? Probably not but cuts may not be enough.)