In what is the biggest story for our district (and all districts in this state) is the likely reality of the Legislature going into a Special Session to complete the budget.
The impacts of this delay to our school districts is big and those impacts should have been considered at the start of the session.
At the beginning of the session, I said that job one was McCleary via the budget. (I was not the only person to point this out.) And yet we saw a parade of bills from all directions. Some, like the restraint of Special Education students, were vital to get done. But some were just not needed when so much work needed to get done - and compromise and consensus sought - on the budget.
I can't believe that our state is going to spend upwards of $300K on a Special Session to get a budget. And, if McCleary doesn't look like it got done, what does this say to the Supreme Court?
Legislators should have all pledged, from the start, to get the budget done BEFORE anything else.
Also of interest is an op-ed in the Times that complains about the number of elected state officials (there are nine). I hadn't realized this was an issue but drill down and it becomes all about the state superintendent of public instruction and wouldn't it be a better idea if that office was appointed by the Governor? Apparently former Governor Gregoire had floated this idea in the waning days of her office. She wanted an entire Department of Education created, from early learning to higher education.
We need to not only invest in education, we need to create a seamless, accountable system focused on students and their success.
She goes on to say that an Ed Secretary should have "full authority to oversee the entire Washington state education system with effective evidence-based, student-centered best practices."
One thing that didn't get said is why we have multiple ed agencies in the first place nor why those agencies could not be asked to work together in a more fluid fashion.
Operations Committee Meeting, Thursday from 4:30-6:30 pm. Agenda.
This meeting sees a number of items to cover. I'm not sure exactly how the Committee is to provide oversight this way. Some items, like naming Coe's Library, I don't get if only because the Superintendent himself pulled the naming policy from tonight's Board meeting. If the policy is to be changed, why waste time on discussion now?
Another item is "high poverty schools wireless upgrade via E-rate" (a FCC program to help high poverty schools with technology). The mystery to me is that the Technology department has touted how all buildings are now wireless. Is that not the case and, if it is true, why do schools need an upgrade so soon?
Another interesting item - a donation to the Athletic Program Fund. That sounds promising.
I also will note that the district is now consistently saying that buildings are either being built/renovated to about 25-30 years. This is important because districts used to build to a 40-50 year cycle.
I also saw on the Board meeting agenda tonight, under upcoming meetings is an Operations Committee/Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday, May 5, 4:30-6:30 pm. I have to wonder if the topic of high school capacity might not be the highlight given how urgent the need is to make some decisions on how to solve this problem.
Looking at the district calendar, I see only a couple more director meetings on Saturday before the end of the school year. I have to say that with a couple of burning issues on the table - bell times, high school capacity, social studies middle school adoption - it's sad that directors are not available for parents/community to talk to about these issues.