What a week, no? I sense a parent Spring Uprising coming (I hope so). I am sorry that it is in the face of so many schools suddenly losing staff and parents pitted against each other over bell times. But really, do not allow yourselves to be divided.
On the staffing front, I am aware of a group of schools forming to discuss this issue. My understanding is that schools have until been told that final decisions have to be to the district by Monday the 12th and that changes to the classroom would start the next Monday the 19th. That means a weekend for parents to find money (a la´ Gatewood last year). Kids, that's crazy talk and crazy action. Do not do it.
At the Audit and Finance Committee meeting this week, grants were discussed and a document shown that had PTA grants at $3M. That's just grants to the district and NOT all the money raised by PTAs in service to their schools. That is generous and wonderful but PTA is NOT there to fund for staffing and maintenance. The district is now counting on you doing this and frankly, it's some leverage. But you have to use it.
On that note, an excellent essay by Fairmount Park PTA President, Hillary Shaw.
Ideally, our PTA — or any PTA — should not cover costs of staffing,
supplies, or any other expense that meets the basic educational needs of
students. Funding basic needs is as antithetical to the mission of the
PTA as striking is to the values of teachers. And yet, we — along with
32 other PTAs — funded salaries for nurses, school counselors, tutors,
aides, music and art teachers, librarians, and specialists last year.
And yet, Seattle teachers — in a unified, unanimous group — raised a
blazing red flag in September, an absolute last resort gesture. PTAs
stepping in to amply fund education and striking teachers are indicative
of the long-standing education funding and reform failures endemic to
the Washington State government. The ending to this epic saga has yet to
be written, and we can, should, and must have a hand in creating a
positive outcome for all students in our school and in our state.
Interested in learning more about school levies and teacher compensation? TVW has produced a short documentary on the subject.
Worried about mental health in our country? There's a pop-up
Depressed Cake Shop tomorrow only. (I wish I could go and pick up
something myself. )
The Depressed Cake Shop,
a one-day pop-up bakery to encourage conversation about mental-health
issues, is happening this Saturday, October 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,
at Capitol Hill's Sole Repair.
The goal is simple—and important: Sell gray-colored cakes, cookies, and
other treats (all donated by local bakers) to raise awareness of and
fight stigmas that often come with mental-health issues. While they look
sad on the outside, all the baked goods are colored on the inside to
symbolize hope. Proceeds from the event go to support the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Seattle.
Please check the thread on School Board candidate forums tomorrow.
Some good news about a great program in Detroit for teens to train teens to become firefighters, from NBC News. This is how you get kids out of the classroom, learning hands-on skills, discipline and a greater understanding about the world of work.
What's on your mind?