Seattle Council PTSA meeting: Navigating SPS: Steps for Positive Advocacy
JSCEE from 7-8:30 p.m.
Speakers: Ron McGlone, SPS Ombudsman, Adie Simmons, State of Washington Ombudsman, Bernardo Ruiz, SPS manager of Family and Community Engagement
Tuesday, May 1
Community Conversations with ELL and Special Education Directors6-7:30 p.m. at Jane Addams K-8, 11051 34th Ave NE
Please join Veronica Gallardo, Director of ELL and International Programs, and Becky Clifford Interim Executive Director for Special Education at one of their upcoming Community Conversation hours.
Wednesday, May 2nd
Board Work Session on International Education from 4-5:10 p.m. at JSCEE
School Board meeting from 6-9 p.m.
Agenda. This is one of the last meetings at 6 p.m. as on June 6th, Board meetings will start at 4:15 p.m. with public testimony at 5 p.m.
Announcement of an offer to a superintendent candidate with a final approval - if accepted by the candidate - for May 16th.
There is a resolution for a RIF but this is a formality that the district needs to have in place. Dr. Enfield has indicated that it is unlikely there will be any teacher RIFS but there were cuts at the Central Office level.
There is resolution in support of yet another year for Cleveland to have fewer instructional hours.
There are also several Board policy measures. One is around International Education and I want to do a separate thread on that issue.
There is also the troubling Alliance for Education. The main sticking point:
The fiscal impact to this MOU relates to the amount that the district reimburses the Alliance for
providing fiscal services for school accounts. This amount is intended to help offset the payroll
and other expenses incurred in providing this service. While the amount is expected to change each year, because it is based on total account activity, the MOU caps the amount as not to exceed 7.5% of the total school account activity for the calendar year. It is expected that annually this amount will fluctuate around the $120,000 amount. The funds for this reimbursement will come from the District’s operating budget.
Unfortunately, the 5% cap proved inadequate to cover the direct costs incurred with these
services. The Alliance does retain the interest payments on the first $25,000 in each account,
and until 2009 that interest helped to defray the shortfall. However, with the dramatic reduction
in interest rates after 2009 (US Treasury rates fell from nearly 3% in mid-2008 to below .3% in
2009) and with the continued low rates, the Alliance has not had that funding stream to help
ameliorate the shortfall. The Alliance has indicated they are committed to supporting these fiscal
services, they are unable to continue to do so in a sustainable manner. Therefore, the proposed
MOU includes raising the cap to 7.5%
I do not support this change. The Alliance has no business making money off the district and the district has no business using scarce General Funds for this purpose. This should go out for bid and I'd bet you'd find someone who can do it well for under 7.5%.
The Background Information states:
The stability of this relationship can transcend the traditional personnel churn that is seen
in urban districts and can provide assurance to funders and the business community that the
district remains on track with our goals. Furthermore, the Board President and the
Superintendent, as non-voting ex officio members of the Alliance’s Board, help ensure alignment
between the Alliance’s projects and the district’s overall goals.
I have never seen this wording before about the alliance as the steady state buffer against personnel churn. The Alliance is NOT part of our district. They are not a steady state buffer for business interests. Also the wording in that paragraph - which I believe to be written by the Alliance - is "that the district remains on track with OUR goals" - caps mine.
Hello? The district is supposed to be on track with the Alliance's goals? Nonsense.
Also, the district has no business worrying about whether their goals align with the Alliance's projects. It should be the OTHER way around.
While not authorizing the Superintendent to sign this MOU would not end our relationship with the Alliance, it would send a strong signal to schools and to the broader community that we do not value this relationship. This could result in the Alliance choosing to not partner with the district on district priorities, and could have a very negative impact on the schools if the Alliance chose not to continue supporting the school reports.
Please. The impact would be that the district tells the Alliance what the district wants (and can afford). The Alliance can take it or leave it but is not in a position to tell the district what to do with its funds.
- termination of a lease for Lake City School for $3.2M. WHAT!?! They will used $300k from other contract funds/contingency and the rest will come from our Community Schools account.
has loans on the property which come due this fall. In order to refinance, they have asked for a
restructuring of the rent provisions, which the district has declined to do. They have instead
offered to terminate the lease, if they receive a payment of $3,200,000, which would pay off their
loans plus about $200,000.
The property generates $75,000 annually in rent payments for the District.
There is then a narrative on this where somehow the district will come out ahead in the future by the property producing new income or they use it for future school use.
Folks, that Community Schools account money is from the sale of school properties. What are we doing using millions of it to pay off a loan to the leasee plus a profit of $200k. Someone who knows real estate law - could you help us out?
- payment of a change order to the tune of $300k for Hale. It is quite vague on where this money comes from but it is because of change orders by the district. So much for on-budget.
- contract to reopen Mann. This is fine except $8M of the money comes from BEX IV which doesn't have a firm plan as of this date and, of course, isn't passed. What happens if it doesn't pass? Seems cart before the horse to make legal agreements with money you don't have in hand. But that's our district.