Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Budget News

I was unable to attend the Board Work Session today on the budget. The PowerPoint is available and it has quite a bit of interesting information (which I'm sure was much better fleshed out at the meeting). There is another Board Work Session on the budget on April 8th.

Items of interest (or amusement or annoyance, take your pick):
  • for whatever reason, staff always has at least 2-3 pages of high-minded rhetoric. The Board knows what they are doing and why they are doing it (meaning, why this district exists and what they are trying to accomplish) and yet staff puts these pages in. For example, at the bottom of page 5 there's this (what I would call) mission statement: We are mindful of the impacts of the current budget crisis and will work thoughtfully and
    diligently to obtain the best outcomes possible for our students. Okay, thanks.
  • Page 5 also has the guiding principles for the budget decisions including:
  • Ensure lean, healthy infrastructure exists to support instruction, employees
    and organization decision making
    • Ensure supports are in place for employees impacted by job losses.
    • Identify and prioritize opportunities to improve operational efficiency
    • Continue planned investment to reduce chronic maintenance backlog
    • Remain a legally compliant organization.
  • Remain a legally compliant organization?! Good choice but hard in practice so far this year for SPS.
  • Among Working Assumptions (page 14): raise school lunch by 50 cents, increase Pay for Play by $50 (not for F/RL), 09-10 RIF recall will not be backfilled, SE Initiative is rolled into School Improvement and baseline reductions made ($855,000) and backfill potential reduction in federal funds for Native Education
  • page 15 has the cuts to WSS including (in priority), eliminate elementary counselors, reduce HS academic intervention spec. by .5, eliminate Core Cert .5 Allocation for MS, etc.

  • They love to say over and over that they are reducing Central Adm by 90 when, in fact, the 5 FTE Ed Directors are just being renamed and reposted. Why this charade of counting them?
  • Tick tock - they are still deciding where the money will come from to fix up the 5 reopening schools. I know some schools have had some work started but I suspect this might take some overtime to get them done (looking at the list of what is to be done at each school).
  • They are going to hire more FTE maintenance workers but don't know how many and say this will impact the final number of central office positions.
  • Hey, new definition of functional capacity and target enrollment on page 24. Try to keep up folks.
  • Important! Pages 25-32 outline the Open Choice seats. They are definitely going to be 10% of the 9th grade target enrollment (see page 24 for definition).
  • Page 32 - Implications of Increasing 9th Grade Targets Now include: "may need to undo some changes once we have data available for all schools (or incur additional mitigation costs)" and "disproportionate impact on schools. Could reduce Rainier Beach below viability for providing a comprehensive range of course offerings."
Lots to think about here. The implications for that last sentence about Rainier Beach could have quite the ripple effect and could only upset parents who believe (and who can blame them), that somehow the SE always takes one for the team.

33 comments:

Josh Hayes said...

Melissa writes:

"for whatever reason, staff always has at least 2-3 pages of high-minded rhetoric...For example...'We are mindful of the impacts of the current budget crisis and will work thoughtfully and
diligently to obtain the best outcomes possible for our students.'"


I guess that's because we might otherwise suspect that they're NOT mindful of those things and in fact, don't give a crap and will work carelessly to obtain whatever the hell they obtain. "Hey, we're trying," they say.

I also find amusing this:

"Continue planned investment to reduce chronic maintenance backlog."

Jinkies, I had no idea: they have planned investments to reduce the backlog? How on earth did it get to be so absurdly high if they have CONTINUED planning to reduce it?

My other concern here is this: "Pages 25-32 outline the Open Choice seats. They are definitely going to be 10% of the 9th grade target enrollment (see page 24 for definition)."

The implication here is that in a school with, say, enrollment of about 400 kids/grade, there'll be 40 seats available to incoming frosh from outside the reference area. Does this mean there's no guarantee of ANY seats so available in other grades, and that any seats available will be simply as a function of attrition from the (full) frosh class? The reality is, of course, that there will be no seats available out of area for most schools. None for Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield, probably none for Hale, Ingraham, Sealth, and Franklin. I suppose that's the actual plan: go to your "local" high school and quit your whining. We'll see how that works out.

ttln said...

What does page 24 say? What does page 24 say? ooooo I cant wait to see what the new definition is and how the misled us all to believe it was something else to get buy in to the NSAP. We all were led to believe 10% of the usual in coming classes not 10% of a revised downward, new class size #.

Charlie Mas said...

From some of that high-minded language at the beginning:

"We are changing the way we support schools so that we use our resources strategically to make every school an excellent school"

Translation: We're holding back LAP funds and Title I funds for strategic initiatives. Sorry poor under-performing kids, but we need to apply your money elsewhere in the name of "Excellence for All".

Followed by "Our budget reflects our commitment to implementing the goals of the School Improvement Framework and the New Student Assignment Plan so that every student receives an excellent education"

Translation: We are more committed to our plans and projects than we are to the students. But don't worry; it will trickle down.

"We have difficult decisions ahead of us about how to protect the core of our work, which is student achievement and academic instruction"

The core of their work which is getting protected is not student achievement but administrative achievement - the prompt implementation and execution of their strategic initiatives.

"Remain committed to our strategic work –enable continued support of 'Excellence for All'"

They come right out and say it. Despite the budgetary constraints, they refuse to slow the Strategic Plan train. They refuse to allow the budget cuts to impact their precious Plan.

Slide 10 spells it out perfectly:

The misguided and ill-defined Performance Management pet project is taking $4.6 million from LAP, Title I and FRL, funds intended to supplement the education of poor students and under-performing students. But the performance management is going to happen at all schools equally. The poor and underperforming students are subsidizing the management costs for middle class students working at grade level.

Slide 14 reads: "Southeast Initiative is rolled into School Improvement and baseline reductions made ($855,000)"

This is a subtle and confusing way to say that they have stopped the funding for the Southeast Initiative. It's over.

On Slide 17 where they count the RIFs I notice that Teaching Support is losing 9. That's where the coaches are counted. So no more than 9 of the 111 (or 116) coaches are being RIFed and there's no reason to believe that all 9 people in this category are coaches.

They go on about the $6 million in cuts in Central Administration, but on the next slide where they compare FY09 with FY10 we see a $7.5 million increase in spending on "Supervision" and only a $2.5 million reduction in other activities (presumably central administration ones). So where's the $6 million cut? I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing a $5 million increase.

The warning about Rainier Beach High School appears misplaced, but the meaning is clear. Now that the Southeast Initiative is over, the District will no longer provide funding for under-enrolled classes at Rainier Beach. That means that if a class at Rainier Beach, such as AP Calculus, doesn't have enough students to justify itself, then the school can't have the class. If the school doesn't offer the class, then it isn't offering the full range of classes - as promised to the community.

Finally, the District ends this long joke with the punchline:

"Community Engagement to follow"

Community Engagement always comes AFTER all of the decisions are made, when it is too late for anything that the community says to influence the outcome.

And the Board is totally okay with that.

seattle citizen said...

Maybe the "community engagement" is the survey that has once again reared its ugly head?

Since the Strategic Plan is the brainchild of (and is partly funded by) Gates and Broad, and since the Alliance is the money-handler for Gates and Broad's nine million, and since they ("funders, SPS and the Alliance") have a team that "disusses" the "desired outcomes..." well, then, I suppose the Alliane survey is part of a) "desired outcomes" and b) discussion of the team consisting of Gates/Broad, SPS and the Alliance in their drive to move the Strategic Initiative forward (and has been noted elsewhere, NTQ, NWEA, et all, aligned with Broad and sharing board members, is in fact the designer of this "strategic initiative." It is NOT a product of this city, but of "edumacrats" nationally who are making money hand over fist selling computerized testing programs (and the computers to run them on), "curricula" that runs on the machines (or in close connection to them), and "managing" schools and de-unionizing educators.

WV thinks this is a blepin shame.

zb said...

I've read through the section on open choice seats and here's my interpretation (which, mind you, might be wrong).

1) they're committed to maintaining at least 10% open choice seats in 9th grade. That means, for example, that if enrollment is high at a school, open choice seats will go up, not down.

2) but, they don't want to make this adjustment now (i.e. w/ Roosevelt), because they want to see what happens with enrollment.

3) they hope that by not making the adjustment yet, that some people will just accept their attendance area assignment (i.e. rather than wait for waitlists & adjustments). that's my interpretation of the Ranier Beach comment.

Central Mom said...

Why has the district put the target enrollment at some Option schools below documented patterns of past years enrollment. After all, there are no attendance area population patterns driving Option targeted enrollment.

If an Option school historically has a waiting list and yet the district is putting targeted enrollment BELOW past years' levels, it provides NO benefit to the school nor to the families wishing to enroll.

It DOES, however, cut funds and staff for those schools (and then distributes those funds/staff elsewhere.)

I have tried to think of a reason that this could be anything but yet another undermining of Option schools, but I can't find that valid reason. Maybe someone else can.

southmom said...

I am shocked and horrified at how the news keeps getting worse and worse for us in the Southend. Why, why why don't the board members care about kids here???

seattle citizen said...

Central Mom, Option schools are not alone. Many, many schools have their numbers down. As is being discussed here, it seems...unfathomable. But it is becoming apparent that it might be a way to redistribute students around the city, and get rid of ALL choice (option OR wait list)

But your point is valid: Why cut option schools numbers? On what data is this based?

Might it have something to do with the desire to make Option schools NOT all-city draws but merely cluster draws? Maybe SPS is saying to itself, well, only these amount of students will come to this option school from this geogrpahic area....

But then we have STEM- an option school the district has already come up with numbers for, based on all-city draw, and, I might add, apparently very optimistic. Why wouldn't other option schools be granted the same optomism? Hmm, maybe because they are not the creations of the district but rather of the community?

I mean, did Broad plan AS#1? TOPS?

Do the option schools fit into the Strategic National Plan?

blumhagn said...

Here's the way the Open Choice issue was described to me some time ago. The slides here confirm.

There's a split between the functional capacity and the target enrollment. Functional capacity is how many kids they think they can reasonably squeeze into the place and still close the doors. This is a function of the square footage of the school, number of classrooms, etc. Target enrollment is how many kids they think the school should have, and is a function of the assignment area size and demographics.

Let's say you have a middle school with a functional capacity of 1000 kids, but you only have 700 kids in the assignment area. The target enrollment will be 770 (700 locals plus 10% open choice). Actual enrollment levels will be set by the target enrollment, not the functional capacity. So even if you have 1000 kids who want to go to the school, and the school can fit them all in, you'll still be limited to around 800 kids.

That's how certain schools [cough Madison cough] get shafted by the NSAP.

I've got more on the budget from attending the first part of the meeting, but the boss wants me to work for my paycheck until lunchtime.

Eric

zb said...

"Let's say you have a middle school with a functional capacity of 1000 kids, but you only have 700 kids in the assignment area. The target enrollment will be 770 (700 locals plus 10% open choice). Actual enrollment levels will be set by the target enrollment, not the functional capacity. So even if you have 1000 kids who want to go to the school, and the school can fit them all in, you'll still be limited to around 800 kids."

This fits with my interpretation, too, with the following exception (and a minor math correction): I'm proposing that they're saying that if a school w/ 1000 functional capacity, but 700 target capacity school actually enrolls 900 students from its attendance area (i.e. the students guaranteed access to their school) there will be 100 open choice seats, not 77), to keep the proportion of open choice seats at 10%. That will result in a total enrollment of 1000 (the functional capacity).

But, one of the things I don't understand is whether a school can also go above its "functional capacity"? I think so, that it's not a fire code violation or something, so that school capacities are quite an unknown.

Oh, and I get the impression that they don't want to plan for the higher amount 'cause they're keeping their fingers crossed.

It also seems to me that these projected enrollment numbers have a huge affect on planned staffing, and are thus being fudged for that purpose. Ick, what a mess, for everyone. I'm sympathetic to the staff, too. It must be horrid to be pushing these numbers around and having no good solutions in sight.

blumhagn said...

That's right, zb--if the numbers from the assignment area come in higher than expected, they will somehow make space for the additional kids. To take this hypothetical school further, if they had 1000 kids in the attendance area, they would have to make space for an additional 100 open choice seats.

Schools can go over their functional capacity (Ballard has for years), by adding more kids to the classrooms.

Also, there is a budget review at the beginning of the year, so if they are pushed over a WSS threshold (eg 1000 kids at middle school), then they would get some more staff to support the kids.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The functional capacity number has always appeared to be quite fluid. I've seen plenty of schools go over theirs.

I think that the district, once again without being transparent, is definitely working this SAP so that people will go to their attendance area school or nearest Option school.

I concur with Charlie; why is the Strategic Plan untouchable?

seattle citizen said...

Because, Melissa, the SP is the lever to move the whole thing off its foundation. The "tool" to transmorgify the entire system. To relent on one element, to back off, would fly in the face of this massive change (and, perhaps, risk withdrawal of nine million dollars of Gates/Broad money)

The national "mood" that has been built up by catch-phrases such as "teacher quality" and "failing schools" (which ignore the myraid other factors) isn't sustainable and everybody knows it. Tools such as the Alliance's "survey" will only work to steer the populace into compiance for so long.

They are striking while the iron is hot, in a systemic attack on the entire structure of public educatio. "They" are the edu-wonks, national "foundations (businesses) et al who feel that we should privatize the whole dang thing and get on with it.

If "they" back down on any of it, they are admitting that maybe the local citizens have some valid points, might have some valid questions, might want to have some valid local input...Best steamroll ahead, eh?

Central Mom said...

Might it have something to do with the desire to make Option schools NOT all-city draws but merely cluster draws? Maybe SPS is saying to itself, well, only these amount of students will come to this option school from this geogrpahic area....

I don't believe this is a valid district argument for schools with a long waitlist such as TOPS and Salmon Bay. In addition, it would be a reasonable assumption to believe that Option schools in service areas with not great neighborhood choices will increase in enrollment. Look at the New School. You'll see that indeed target enrollment is way up. So, the District is willing to boost Option numbers and direct staff to those schools it chooses, while denying resources to others...or at least that's what it looks like.

I don't want to lose this thought train without more input from you blog readers as to a reasonable explanation for artificially holding down target enrollment at some Option Schools. I want input because a scathing letter and oped is 1/2-formed right now, but first I need due diligence from others in the community.

seattle citizen said...

Central Mom,
I believe you are on the right track with why soem Options have more and some have less. What is the district's rationale?

AND: Will ALL Options someday be geo zones, or will some be all-city, and what rationale for THOSE decisions.

Cecilia said...

It looks like the district is manipulating the number of open choice seats at Garfield to be lower than they should be.
Pg. 26 says "Add number of seats needed to ensure 10% open choice seats. ( Add APP students estimated to Garfield after 10% open choice seats are added".
Looks like the district is saying the APP students are not part of the incoming freshman class but siblings of of APP students can apply for open choice seats and have sibling priority.
The APP students are part of the studentbody and they should be counted when determining open choice seats at GHS. Just like the APP student's siblings should be able to apply to open choice seats. The way the district set it up they are eliminating more then 10 spots.

Charlie Mas said...

southmom wrote: "I am shocked and horrified at how the news keeps getting worse and worse for us in the Southend. Why, why why don't the board members care about kids here???"


There are four reasons that southend schools have been ignored by the District for so long: Al Sugiyama, Jan Kumasaka, Cheryl Chow, and Betty Patu. The Board members representing District VII have either been unwilling or unable to advocate for the southend. There is no other explanation.

Keepin'On said...

I would just once again remind people that Option Schools are not the only ones getting the shaft in projected enrollment here. Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield - they are all being artificially capped, which is resulting in very real, and very painful budget and staffing cuts.

I think that any op-ed, to be successful Central Mom, must include the fact that ALL schools are getting the shaft. By focusing only on Option schools, the big picture is masked, school communities once again fracture into an "us vs them" mentality, and play right into the district's hands. If we do not unite as one voice, we all fail.

APP, Special Ed, Option schools, regular schools - we are all feeling the effects here.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I would add to Charlie's true if somewhat rough comment, that I have rarely seen directors try to advance their district schools above others.

But, in terms of equity, of keeping schools on all the directors' radar, a good director will advocate for the schools in their district. Not speaking up for your own schools allows the other directors to think, well, if there was something I needed to know about District X, Director X would let us know.

Dorothy said...

The explanation in the slides is a little different from what the principal of Roosevelt told me.

What he said was that the demographers decided there were about 360 potential 9th graders living in the attendance area for next year. And that this does NOT include APP kids slated for Garfield (so hmmm, with GHS not counting them until after coming up with their 10% figure, that undercounts the whole).

Out of those 360 kids, the demographers estimate that 10 each will choose Nova or Center school. That leaves a target population of 340 kids. So that leaves a calculation of 33 option seats which is approximately ten percent of the target population. The thinking there is that it's a zero sum game, and the 10 percent from out of the area who get option seats will not be adding onto the population, but will be taking the seats of the 10% in the area that opt for a different school.

According to the slide method of calculation, the projected enrollment for Roosevelt (assuming I was told the correct figure of 340 target enrollment from the neighborhood) should be 340 plus 34. I am suspicious that they are really doing that, because it would overestimate the number of 9th graders in the district overall.

seattle citizen said...

Keepin' On, I would agree that a unified strategy helps us all, but it IS true that Option schools are in a bit of a different situation - As the district goes to geographic zones, this in itself would not effect Options. While one can see (if not agree) with restricting students to zones, and thereby make some sort of artifical cap, the same argument (and stragey) can't be made for Option schools, as they are open to all (though without transpo from out of zone, at this point)

if they are open to all, what tool is being used to determine the lower numbers?

In the scheme of things, tho', I suspect your argument is stronger: MANY schools seem to be getting nailed with way lower WSS, leading to decimation of popular programs....

WV believes that when one grows in popularity, one is upliked.

blumhagn said...

So here's some more budget stuff from the meeting last night.

You remember how the cuts were lined up (see p. 13 of the PDF), with $6.5M from HQ RIFs, $6M from schools, etc.? Well, turns out that's not 100% accurate. You see, the cuts to the classrooms in the WSS levels given to the schools include a few more cuts: $4.5M from not filling in the hole left by the one-time stimulus RIF recall, and another $10M from state-level impacts of not funding I-728.

I believe those cuts all come from school budgets (teachers and counselors). All $20M of them.

But wait, there's more! You know that $6.5M from RIFs at HQ? That was originally targeted to be $7M, but they didn't RIF up to their target this year. Oh, and that $6.5M includes the 5 ed directors who will be re-hired, so that's another $600+K back out of the budget once we pay for benefits.

Now how much would you pay?! Don Kennedy also said that they expect to give some pay raises to HQ staff because they'll have more responsibilities after the RIF takes out their colleague's jobs. By the time all is said and done, I'd be shocked if they save $5.5M from the HQ RIF. Which is pretty poor, since their target savings was $7M.

So here's another couple of items. Also on Page 13 of the PDF, there are a list of potential cost savings line items. The budget gap is about $17M, but these line items savings total $22.8M (giving full credit for the HQ RIF discussed above). So there's another $5M floating around that could go back into the schools, but probably won't.

The TOTAL line on the top table on page 16 is not the total of the rows above--some rows got cut out. I don't know which yet.

Also, in the lies, damn lies, and statistics department, the Central Office RIFs percentages on the next page are the departmental RIF numbers divided by the total RIF, not by staffing in the department. It's important because it skews the percentages. Central Admin actually lost about 16% of its staff, and Other Support Activities lost 8%. Although the text makes it clear, the way it is formatted makes it look like Admin lost 61% of its staff.

And here's the action item. The Board needs to decide by 4/8 whether it will accept the current plan for HQ or ask for deeper cuts. After that, they will not have time to make cuts to unionized staff at HQ before the contract deadline.

blumhagn said...

A couple more things--Kay Smith-Blum specifically asked Don Kennedy how the principals came up with the list of cuts to go into the $6.1M package. After a lot of pushing, he said that HQ took the principals' ideas, but didn't try to prioritize based on importance to the principals. In other words, because cutting the counselors was on the list and it saved the most money, it was moved to the front of the line, even though most principals didn't want to make that cut. I guess if HQ was designing cars, nobody would have anti-lock brakes because they're a) expensive, and b) most people never need them anyway.

KSB also brought up a point that the WSS standards for core staff are based on breakpoints of enrollment. At the high school level, Cleveland is 74 students from getting another 2 core staff, while Ingraham and Sealth are close to the line for getting one more core staffer. Ballard and Roosevelt are over the next threshold by less than 50 students.

At the middle school level, Aki Kurose, Whitman, and Washington are all close to getting more staff, and Denny is just 3 students over the line for getting another 1.5 staff.

All of those adjustments will be made in October, when the final enrollment is known for the school. In theory, if Denny drops by 4 students, they'll lose funding for 1.5 FTEs. Ouch. Obviously, some schools might get good news too.

When KSB asked about ways to even out staffing for schools just above or just below the lines, she was basically told it had to come from discretionary dollars.

Eric

Maureen said...

So this is what happens when Site Based Management goes away--schools have to standardize--who cares if your population would do ok without a librarian, but the counselor is holding the whole thing together? MGJ gets to make the cookies and select the cutter.

blumhagn said...

Maureen, the answer is yes, but. If the principal doesn't want a librarian, they do (in theory) have the ability to drop that position in favor of the counselor. I say in theory, because there seems to be a lot of pushback against the counselor position when principals want to use this authority, even though staff say that the principal always has the power to reallocate positions.

To get there, the principal might have to be willing to say "But Don Kennedy assured the Board at the last meeting that I could do this..." and stick to his/her guns.

Title I schools can use discretionary dollars to fund a counselor as well, but non Title I elementaries do not have enough discretionary money to make this work.

Eric

the358 said...

OT: we got a call from a polling firm tonight asking lots of questions about Seattle Schools, and a few questions about the mayor and Dow Constantine. Hubby took the call and he can't remember the name of the polling firm.

the358 said...

Also OT: there was an article this week about Indian Ed in the P-I, with quotes from Patti Spencer.

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/417108_nativeeducation22.html

Megan Mc said...

thanks for the update, Eric. The whole situation makes me sick to my stomach. Central is tauting their 90 person lay offs and requesting raises to make up for the extra work they'll have to while schools will barely have enough bodies in their decrepit building to safely supervise the kid. Not to mention that teachers and principals will have the performance management gun to their heads. That will improve morale.

Seattle Parent said...

There were 3 references to data in the powerpoint that are not linked (i.e. per pupil funding levels per school, and how SPS funds are distributed across the district, etc). The school board office assured me that they were trying to make these links available online (or atleast hard copies in the office), and to check back on Monday for this.

Second, the workshop started almost 1/2 hour late, so I only was able to attend a short while (why do PTSA's schedule their meetings on Wednesdays?), but I did catch something interesting that Melissa referred to, on p.5 "Guiding Principles for Budget Decisions." This page was read by Sherry Carr, and it sounded as if she wrote it herself (or atleast as coming from the school board directors, but she said that the items on p5 were arranged by her own priority, but she welcomed board member discussion about priorities).

I'm also interested in page 8 data (plus p. 9-12 funding comparisons)to see if there is/will be actually any line item in any school budgets listed as getting more $ due to the new "Student Academic Performance data" as p. 9 lists (as being 1 of the 3 main criteria for each school's funding).

Do these additional funds actually show up identified specifically, or will they be lumped & buried into LAP or title 1 funds? When will they appear & be identified?

Seattle Parent said...

Melissa said:
I think that the district, once again without being transparent, is definitely working this SAP so that people will go to their attendance area school or nearest Option school.

Keepin' On said:
Option Schools are not the only ones getting the shaft in projected enrollment here. Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield - they are all being artificially capped, which is resulting in very real, and very painful budget and staffing cuts.
I think that any op-ed, to be successful Central Mom, must include the fact that ALL schools are getting the shaft.

Yes, I agree with both of you on this---
Keepin' on, please add Madison and WSHS to you list of schools with drastic artifical enrollment cuts. Madison has even announced to parents (last week, at their PTSA meeting) that the district said there is an enrollment cap set & no matter how many kids from out of area try to sign up, they will not be allowed to fill the school beyond what the target enrollment given on the initial 2010-11 Budget Allocation page. What happened to allowing choice for enrollment? (Tracy Libros would neither confirm nor deny the direct Madison enrollment cap question, apparently just saying, we'll have to wait and see for that).

Artifically capping enrollment to "engineer" enrollment patterns was not part of the SAP and should not be allowed, atleast for under-enrolled schools like WSHS and Madison (all due to the way the maps were drawn- inexcusably cutting WSHS/Madison's enrollment (AAFTE count down by 65 & 153 kids), while adding the same or more to Denny +131 & Sealth +143 AAFTE enrollment).

Of the 10 comprehensive high schools, WSHS has the #1 position for cuts (with Roosevelt & Ballard next at 89 AAFTE cuts, while at the extreme growth end is Sealth.

Something is not right with the SAP and the maps, and something has to be changed, or some of our schools and our students are going suffer needlessly. No one wants to go to schools with budgets cut to the bone because of artifical enrollment cuts- the cross-district budget cuts are bad enough... Balance the enrollment district-wide!

ttln said...

Thanks for the Madison West Seattle inclusion. We appreciate it.

I posted this on another thread. Perhaps I should have posted it here.

I read this article this morning and found it to be foretelling:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/24/nyregion/24waiting.html?ref=education

The perils of inflexible boundaries and artifical/strict caps on enrollment we will surely encounter at some point.

wsnorth said...

That interpretation of the 10% rule makes me ill, I hope they budge on it. West Seattle is really getting the "shaft" in the recent plan. Our closed schools are being "reopened" in portables of existing schools, putting them way over capacity. Madison/WSHS have been full with wait lists for years, and are now being starved of students and budget. Denny/Sealth provide programs that are true "alternatives", but will now be so crowded that out of area students who may be attracted to them will be effectively shut out. Half of our elementary schools have new boundaries that are mere blocks from the schools - terrible lopsided boundaries, not "neighborhoodish" at all. This has got to stop!! We didn't want the help out here, leave us alone!!!

Charlie Mas said...

I'm struggling to remember a time when Director Sundquist voted against a staff recommendation, but it's not coming to me.