Sunday, December 28, 2008

Meeting Tomorrow

This was posted elsewhere but I thought it needed more attention in case you are interested in attending.

Educators, Students, & Parents for a Better VISION of Seattle Schools (ESP VISION)
Are you against the school closures? Come join us to plan the next steps in uniting all of the schools together against the closures. We are asking parents, educators, and students from any school -- whether your school is
on the chopping block this time or not -- to come with ideas for how we can save our schools and improve public education in Seattle!

Organizing Meeting:
When: 6pm, Monday, December 29th
Where: Garfield Community Center (corner of Cherry and 23rd)
Contact: Vicky Jambor (vjambor@msn.com) 206-851-4862

...Because Teachers, Students, and Parents know that...
School closures will not achieve "Excellence for All"

3 Classes the Seattle School District should take to understand why school closures will not lead to "Excellence for All"

Basic Math:
You don't have to be a math teacher to see that the current school closure plan will not save anywhere near the amount of money the Seattle School District says it needs. By the District's own figures, the proposed closings and the restructuring of Seattle Public Schools will only save $3.6 million.

Geography:
The last round of school closures drove families out of the Seattle School District. As a November 21, 2007 Seattle PI article pointed out, "A new district analysis shows that, of 732 students at closed schools, only about half of the students went to the schools to which they were assigned. Another 155 left the district." With some 20% of the displaced families abandoning Seattle Public Schools in the last round of closures, the district lost money that the state pays per student enrolled.

Civics:
Under the Basic Education Act passed by Washington's legislature in 1977, the state bears responsibility for fully funding K-12 education--but the level of funding for public schools has steadily declined ever since, with Washington State now ranking 42nd in per-pupil spending. According to the Washington State Parent Teacher Association (PTA), because "the formula for funding the act hasn't changed substantially since 1977," but basic educational needs have, "it doesn't completely fund the Learning Assistance Program, school transportation, Special Education, and English Language Learners."

With the State refusing to fund a 21st century definition of basic education, the Seattle School District, along with teachers, parents, and students, should stand united to demand the funding it is owed—rather than bow to budget shortfalls by closing schools and disrupting communities.

4 comments:

jo said...

I don't disagree with the idea of supporting all the schools. Nonetheless, each school must make every effort to organize on its own behalf and make a case for their community.

Likely some changes will be made.

Dora Taylor said...

This is a community and it is our community and that is the way we should go forward in terms of these school closures. It will affect all of us who live in the CD or whose cildren go to one of these schools.

owlhouse said...

Given the vision and energy shared by so many contributors to this site, I hope this will be a very well attended meeting, ending with an action plan. See you there?

dan dempsey said...

Any word on the "NEWS" lawsuit over fully funding schools as required by law?
Is Thomas Ahearne still on this one?

If this is still in the go forward stage, it seems that all these closures should be delayed until there is an outcome.

Notice how this district did nothing to explore the possibility of outside tenants co-located within existing schools (this has been shown to be academically sound in several districts who thoughtfully select tenants). There never seems to be enough time in the SPS to think about anything. It is always a crisis and no time to do anything but follow the Administration's suggestions.... School Board usually has rubber stamp ready.