What a wonderful night we shared on Saturday and what a powerful statement of support to the more than 52,000 students in Seattle. You contributed over $400,000 to support students in our public schools - wow! This is by degrees a significant increase over the past few years and yet another compelling testatment(sic) to the generosity and commitment to high quality public education that exists in our community. Thank you!
Well, it's great that they are still saying they want to give to Seattle Schools but I wonder how? (Oh wait, the first face I see on their photo roundup of the event is...Don Nielson. Never mind.)
Really good piece from Seattle Education by parent Carolyn Leith on the possible raise for Superintendent Nyland.
As we at this blog have all seen, from the past two school board elections, counting your chickens before you count all the votes is a bad idea. It appears some pundits (see Publicola) thought that the City Council races were a done deal. Not so fast. It appears that Lisa Herbold (over in West Seattle) is close to overtaking Shannon Braddock. As well,
Some updates on the school board races - all of them have seen the gap widen between candidates.
Pinkham is up to nearly 70%, Geary at nearly 63%, Burke is at nearly 81% and Harris is at about 76%. Fun fact - every single race had over 300 write-in votes with Pinkham/Christophersen having the highest number at 497.
|Photo: Real Change - Alex Garland|
The students outlined short- and long-term goals: First they want 50 orca cards at Rainier Beach High School to double the size of the pilot program, they want low-income youth who live within the walk zone to have orca cards, and they want year-round bus passes for any students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.
Already city officials are responding. The Seattle City Council is deliberating over the 2016 budget, and councilmembers are exploring whether to include funding for bus passes. School Board member Betty Patu said that she was working with Councilmember Bruce Harrell’s office to find a way to provide more passes. Staff at Councilmember Mike O’Brien’s office confirmed that he and Harrell are working on the issue now but could not provide details on a specific proposal.
As well, they covered the announcement of a state of emergency over homelessness by Mayor Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Both Murray’s proclamation about city homelessness and Constantine’s proclamation on countywide homelessness were unexpected. They come at a time when city budget negotiations are underway. The city’s current 2016 budget proposal allocates an additional $1.5 million to homeless services, with $40 million already being invested annually. This $5.3 million ordinance is a part of the 2015 supplemental budget.
With the city’s share of the funding, the mayor intends to spend the funds to achieve a number of goals, including investing to specifically address the needs of homeless children in the school system. At Bailey Gatzert, for example, 71 out of 350 students are homeless.
“Most families will stay in their car, because that’s the last place they can live,” said Lee. The city’s response to vehicle residency includes funds for “operational/navigational support” and security.
Superintendent Nyland, in his State of the District speech, referenced how Bailey-Gatzert students were receiving "food backpacks" - backpacks that send food home for the weekend for kids dependent on school for breakfast and lunch. (I cannot find in my notes who is helping with this effort but I believe it is Seattle University which is moving mightily to support SPS schools near them. A big thanks to them for their dedication.)
The last figure I heard for SPS was about 1200 homeless students.
About City pre-k in Seattle Schools, apparently the Seattle Foundation gave out grants and one recipient was Community Day School Association. From the blurb:
Community Day School Association (CDSA) provides affordable, high quality kindergarten readiness and before- and after-school enrichment programs in Seattle Public Schools primarily for underserved children. CDSA develops strong partnerships in the community to deliver effective programming – partnerships include free rent through Seattle Public Schools’ Community Alignment Initiative, ...
I think the new Board should reconsider this idea of free rent. With space a premium and dollars being stretched thin, maybe now is the time for nominal rents at Seattle Schools for all groups accessing SPS' buildings.
Here's an interesting ask from the Attorney General's office: can a school board director serve on another public board? I'm not sure who Rep. Sam Hunt (who is asking for the opinion) is referring to but he's looking for guidance. Apparently someone is both a school board director AND planning commission member. Things like:
3. Does holding such dual positions violate the appearance of fairness provisions of RCW 42.36? How is that determination made, and what remedies are available to address it?
4. In the scenario presented, what obligations does Washington law impose on the person holding dual positions in regard to confidential information?
5. Under what circumstances, if any, may a school board exclude an elected member from executive session because of concerns about incompatibility of office, conflict of interest, appearance of fairness or confidential information?