The PI reports (and I use that word loosely because they again are using a UW journalism student to be their reporter) that after the district got the numbers from the Legislature, the district's budget is $6M more in the whole. This is in addition to the $25M already cut.
I have to say I am quite torn about going to the Alliance Teacher Town Hall tonight or the budget meeting at Roosevelt. Anyone planning on going to the budget meeting who might report back? The budget meetings were about trying to explain the budget process and get feedback for next year's projected cuts at $24M but I suspect now they will ask what to do about this additional $6M. (Note: the district now says these meetings are to talk about the budget gap for this year but I swear the original post at the News and Calendar section of the district's website said it was to explain the process and talk about next year. I find this happens sometimes when I read something and then it seems to morph into something else a day or so later. )
From the article:
The district representatives emphasized that $6.6 million of the $25 million in cuts came from the central administration, a reduction of 85 out of about 380 jobs. The cuts also included freezing hiring and salary step increases and raising school meal prices and athletic participation fees. The district also would use $4.4 million in reserve funds.
Olga Addae, president of the Seattle Education Association, expressed skepticism about the cuts made from central administration.
"When they say there were 85 people cut from central, 40 of those were … the lowest- paid people downtown. They didn't cut the $150,000 people who came in on grant, and part of that grant was saying we'll fund them for a year, now you get them for the rest of the time -- you have to hire them."
This is true. Some of those "cuts" are the ed director positions who are going to be rehired and I think Ms. Addae is alluding to the Broad residents. I have asked if they are to be permanent hires but alas, no answer yet.
Interestingly, Duggan Harman, the district's executive director for finance, said the position cuts happened "all the way up to the superintendent's cabinet." So now Dr. Goodloe-Johnson has a cabinet? That's an interesting term that, to me, usually means close advisers and not just regular staff.
One idea being floated is another, yes another, levy this one for 3-years to cover our problems in November. Sorry district, that's a really bad idea and one the City would be unhappy with because the Families and Education levy comes up in November of 2011. The Legislature, because most Seattle school levies pass, would likely shrug and not do much more to fully fund education.
No, this is not just a Seattle problem or Washington state problem. I was in Tucson recently and boy, they were chopping away. Tucson operates as several smaller districts (even though it's not a particularly large city) and one district was eliminating full-day K, raising class sizes and having an across-the-board pay cut of 2% for the entire district staff. That last one is an interesting idea because it would probably raise a lot of money and the entire district staff would feel the pain and not just those who lose their jobs.