Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Seattle School Board Meeting for Wednesday, September 23rd

The Board has quite the lengthy agenda, given that they cancelled their last scheduled Board meeting due to the teachers strike.

Note: I'm putting an asterisk beside every item that has new spending plus where the money is coming from.  I'll give you the total at the end. 

Highlights:

 Action Items
- Superintendent will be commenting on the status of the SEA CBA

- Board policy revisions to Policy 1010 with accountability of different broadly-grouped departments via the District Annual Operations Dashboard to be delivered to the Board each November plus at least four Work Sessions a year. 

- Board policy revisions to Policy 1240 on Board committees. I think the language is more robust and may actually aid the Board in its oversight.

- Consent degree and settlement for the district to hire an Accessibility Coordinator for the district website so that parents and other can access information on accessibility.  It includes other items for a total between $665,400 to $815,400.  This is stemming from a lawsuit filed by a blind parent who could not access information on the district website.* (General Fund) 

The district blames the webpage developer, Edline, and is suing them with a court date scheduled in Feb. 2016.  They are trying to reach settlement thru a Consent Decree rather than a trial.  (The two parties parted on not-so-great terms with Edline pretty much leaving the district in the lurch as far as the website.  Cross your fingers they will do better in resolving this issue.)

- Highly Capable's Annual OSPI grant document I always find this document hard to read.  I wish there was a narrative.   I had another thread on this issue. I urge you to write to the Board and ask that one of them take this OFF the Consent Agenda and put it on the Action Item list in order to have some discussion about it.





- Student Wellness Board policy - Superintendent has asked for this to be delayed to the Oct. 7th Board meeting.

-

- Staff compensation for those who are management staff at JSCEE.  It's about 2% for this year (and starts, apparently, in September).  This is a COLA.  Then another 1.2% in September 2015 thru August 2017 for salary increase.  Staff also "recommends a salary step increase for non-represented staff starting (you guessed it) September 2015.



The money will come from the General Fund and cost about $920,000 for this year.*

Also to note for your reference: these employees come in "one-of-three Management Salary Schedules: 260-day, 223-Day and 204-Day employees."  So the next time someone says that teachers only work nine months a year, there are plenty of other employees who work that same amount of time.

- Resolution on Moratorium on Out-of-School Suspension for Elementary Students.  Action item report.  
The district will work with SEA on this issue.  The cost is estimated to be $845,000 per year from the General Fund.*

- Authorization for a settlement with a construction company, Absher, for $500K.   Capital Funds.*

- BEX IV - for the new schools at the Wilson-Pacific site, an MOU with Seattle Public Utilities for Licton Springs Flood Reduction Project.  There is a current MOA and this adds over $400K to the over $1M in the existing MOA. From BEX IV funds.*

- Boards of Distinction application.  It appears the Board is applying to the state directors association to be named a "Board of Distinction."  It's can be both funny and interesting reading.  One thing is for sure - it's hard to say there was dissension on the Board and yet they are applying for this award. 

Intro Items:

- Middle School Social Studies Adoption
- MOU with OSPI for Sped consultant for $500,000 from the General Fund.*
- Transfer of money from the BEX IV Program Contingency Account for the Meany project in the sum of $4,470,621.  It appears the the City DPD believes the project is a "substantial alternation" project now and it elevated the costs.

- Wilson Pacific projects are now likely to use all their total contract money as staff says there are "accelerated market escalation costs," impacts of integrating Licton Springs K-8 into the middle school building, the district didn't put in lockers and "the community of parents and teachers confirmed that these should be included," and .01% increase in state sales tax.  They are also keeping $1M out there because the district believes they may have to pay for a traffic light to be installed at the SE corner of the site. 

Total for items with new costs:
General Fund - $4,930,000
BEX IV              1,190,000

Total                 $6,120,000

And that's just in one Board meeting.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa, is that not yet including the middle school SS adoption costs ($1,850,000 )?

HF

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, that includes them as well.

Anonymous said...

SPS should be culpable for the purchase of a non-ADA-compliant website if they didn't ask for it contractually. They were specifically told that this was a requirement of a publicly-funded govt website when they looked at Edline. Again, SPS decision-makers KNEW the requirement when they purchased Edline. That they didn't make it a contractual issue isn't Edline's fault. It's SPS's. SPS had the compliance obligation. The only way Edline should be culpable is if they contractually promised to provide it but didn't. Probably they just said they'd provide the access, but never got around to developing it. That's the way every single business development sales call works in the world of tech. Sleazy of Edline to never provide the capability but in the end SPS's fault for not making accessiblity a purchase absolute. Sounds like the usual track record of SPS ADA compliance, doesn't it?

Was there

Melissa Westbrook said...

Was There, I agree with you. How does this happen to SPS over and over?

mirmac1 said...

Because they know they will not be answerable to their bad decision-making until a brave parent calls them on it. High praise to the family that took them to the mat on this basic civil rights issue.

GarfieldMom said...

OK, it states that the compensation increase for management staff is a "pass through" of COLA funding from the state. I take that to mean it was designated for admin COLAs by the legislature?

I note that none of those salary schedules seems to include the head honchos -- max salary on any of these is under $70K. So the people making $100-150-200K are not getting this raise.

Eric B said...

Why does ending elementary school suspensions cost $845K?

The comments on lockers at W-P is particularly annoying, since I was assured at least two years ago that lockers were back in the plan and the District was going to knock the architects' heads together to get them. I'm pretty sure that was before contract signing for construction. There you go, I guess.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eric, I had wonder at those costs as well for the suspensions but if you read the Action Report, it certainly sounds like a big overhaul of policies. Bet there will be a consultant involved.

Charlie Mas said...

Ending out of school suspension for elementary students costs money because it will be replaced with in-school suspensions and someone has to be paid to supervise the students as they serve their in-school suspensions.

Anonymous said...

SPS is suing Edline for breach of contract. How do people know that SPS did not make ADA compliance a contractual issue with Edline?

Just Curious

Anonymous said...

Boards of Distinction application should require that the district be in good standing with its' state and federal regulatory bodies. In other words, no OCR violations and nothing worst than a Level 2 determination. Since our outgoing Pres served 8 years during some of the most egregious violations, she and other multi-year directors should get a Schrammie and not a distinction.

Distinction right

mirmac1 said...

I agree, Distinction right

Carol Simmons said...

Everything else seems to pale by comparison with regard to the tragic accident on the Aurora Bridge today. It is difficult to write on any other topic, however I do want to personally congratulate the Board on their decision to pass the resolution to eliminate suspensions for elementary school students. We need to cherish one another. Life is so precious.