End of update.
Parent Petition in support of teachers.
I want to start with the ever-smart Kellie LaRue who is a long-time watcher of this district and knows minutiae I couldn't even comprehend.
Now that there is a little extra money, it should go directly to the teachers. That should be a no-brainer.
In the case of SPS building staff, teachers and administrative staff, to say that they have been asked to do more for less, is very much an understatement.
Teacher salaries have fallen behind as a result of six years of no COLA. At a bare minimum, a catch-up COLA should be a top priority.
Under the old Weighted STUDENT Formula (WSF), schools were funded based on every single student in the building. Under the current Weighted Staffing Formula, buildings are just allocated a certain amount of staff.
That change may not appear like much on the surface. However, when most of the SPS buildings are stuffed to the gills and then some, this budget change means that many schools have 10% fewer staff than if staffing were allocated by the number of students in the building.
I ran the numbers a few years ago and it was truly shocking. At my students' elementary school, I had calculated under the old formula, there would have been 5 additional adults in the building.
A comment from the Times' editorial that appeared today said this about those exhorting a judge to threaten to jail the teachers basically said,
"Well, if a judge says he will jail striking teachers, then a union lawyer has the right to ask why members of the Legislature are not being jailing for refusing to do as the Supreme Court has said about McCleary."As for the Times editorial, they make it all about the Benjamins, baby. Now let's be adults and admit (shhh, don't tell the kids) that yes, most of life IS all about money but that isn't the entire story here. We all know that and if you don't, you have not been paying attention.
First, the Times claims that our state is in an educational "crisis" and yet don't quite define how/why. (They also claim that the kids were looking forward to going to school on Wednesday and those teachers are dashing their hopes. As a former kid, I can only say that I ALWAYS had mixed feelings about the start of school. I never wanted summer to end.)
The Times claims the amount of money the district is offering is good AND:
A raise is reasonable given district plans to extend the school day and Seattle’s increasing cost of living.
Yes, a raise is reasonable but they don't mention that that extra half-hour is NOT being paid for and that the amount the district is offering is nowhere that helpful to the costs of living in Seattle.
Here's some of what I said in my own comment at the Times:
- the Times also leaves out how many, many parents are upset over recess/lunch times, particularly for low-income students where the recess/lunch times are less than the rest of the district. Who asks kids to get their lunch and eat it in 15-20 minutes? That's nuts.
- the Legislature has dragged its feet over McCleary so now is not the time to be chiding teachers over that one. That one is solely and completely the Legislature's fault.
You won't get quality education with under-paid, overworked teachers (and yes, they are both things). You won't get quality education with packed classrooms (many of them portables) and yet that is the situation in Seattle Schools. You won't get quality education when teachers see counselors and nurses cut at their schools and yet the district awards raises to senior staff, most of whom are making 6-figures already? And the district administration continues to grow - new "Chief of Schools" anyone?
The union has worked far more in good faith than the district. In fact, as a long-time district watcher, I have my suspicions about how this has all come about. It looks like some people trying to trump up a crisis rather than work in good faith.