Fifty-two thousand students in Seattle’s public schools need our help.
And I thought, "What? That's not the number of kids in SPS."
So I went to the district's Fast Facts and here's what it says:
2015-16 At a GlanceTotal Enrollment (Oct. 2015): 53,872
Now, this was the number reported on the October count so fine but then the head of Schools First, Greg Wong, wrote this to me:
Unfortunately you will see that number again as King County Elections has already finalized the Voters Pamphlet statements. The 52,000+ came from earlier numbers that the district used when discussing the lower-than-expected enrollment at the beginning of the year. Looks like the final October count numbers rebounded quite a bit. Good to know!But the 5-year projections never had 2015-2016 at 52K+. For 2014-2015, it was 52,574 and for 2015-2016, it was 54,070.
Why would the district give Schools First a number from last year? Yes, if the district had "rebounded" from 52,574 to 53,872, we never would have had the unhappiness around staff adjustments this past fall.
I'm not saying the district or Schools First did anything wrong but geez, who's on first here if they are trying to pass these levies in just about six weeks. (I also note, per usual, Schools First is saying these are "renewals" - which they are - but both are at a higher number than before.)