From two area PTSAs:
We are proud to announce the Seattle Council PTSA Board and Northshore Council PTSA Board, which represents the PTA's in Woodinville, Bothell and Kenmore, have endorsed
I-594. Join these parents and teachers to help make our schools and
state safer for Washington families by endorsing 594 today: http://bit.ly/1hbXVd6
This is the measure for background checks for guns.
So I was pretty surprised yesterday that both Banda and Herndon stayed so long at the Cascade meeting give there was the Board Work Session on the Budget at 4 p.m. (they left around 3:45 p.m.) Naturally, I did not attend but if anyone else did weigh in, please.
Here's the presentation which I briefly reviewed. I see some problematic issues here like Central Administration spending 28% less. I would have to see how they defined CA because awhile back they had reorganized it so they could say they were spending less when really it was as dramatic as they said.
It also notes that:
Seattle routinely ends the year with $25-$30M more in reserves than is budgeted. (We agree this occurs)
The Enrollment page for 2014-2015 (page 13) was blank. What gives?
Charters are mentioned on page 16 including that First Place, the only charter opening in 2014-2015, is not in the SPS budget but that they will be eligible for any levy dollars beginning in 2017 (when the next school levy - BTA and Operations - is to occur).
Here's a letter from SEAs about BLTs:
We are writing to you about proposed cuts to school budgets. Many BLTs have plans to begin working on your school’s budget for the 2014-15 school year. This is an essential job of the BLT and ensures that frontline staff has a strong say in each building’s educational and operational program.
Shortly after mid-winter break, each school will receive a staffing allocation for your budgeting. Unfortunately, the District is planning to impose a $4 million cut to school budgets for next year, including cutting 50 FTEs from classified and certificated staff.
We believe that the cuts are unnecessary. Each year for at least the last 5 years, the District has predicted an ending fund balance (surplus) of approximately $20 million dollars. That’s about 3-4% of the budget, which most analysts, including WEA’s, think is prudent for a large organization.
But the reality has been different. At the end of each year, SPS has instead had approximately $50 million left over – that’s closer to an 8 or 9% surplus (see the attached chart for the exact figures).
This year looks to be the same. School district budgets, especially large ones like Seattle’s, are very predictable on a month to month basis, and this year’s budget is tracking very closely to previous years.
We believe SPS will again end the year with approximately $50 million in surplus funds, not $20 million. We have met with top school district officials and told them that SPS has the money to avoid these cuts. We will continue to urge them to rescind these cuts, and at last night’s SEA Representative Assembly we made plans for how members can join the effort to block the cuts.
But while we build pressure on the District to rescind the cuts, we recommend that BLTs proceed with your budgeting work and build the best budget that you can. And as each building learns what the cuts will mean to them, we’d like all members to join in calling on the District to stop building up excessive surpluses while making cuts that hurt our student’s learning conditions and ratchet up workloads.