Thursday, January 21, 2016

Breaking News

 Update: as of 12:04 pm, the shelter-in-place at Blaine has been lifted.

end of update

SPS Communications is reporting a shelter-in-place at Blaine K-8 as SPD investigates a bank robbery nearby.

Meanwhile a judge has ruled that Tim Eyman's I-1366 that narrowly passed in November is unconstitutional.  Another huzzah (and a monkey off the backs of legislators.)


Anonymous said...

From your Governor,

"Today’s ruling is not unexpected and ensures the Legislature can continue focusing on the necessary priorities of this year’s short session relating to McCleary, the state’s teacher shortage and funding for mental health and wildfires. I appreciate the Court’s expeditious review of the case so legislators aren’t distracted by the uncertainty of the initiative’s impact.”

The funny thing is, more than not our King County school districts are well funded via excessive local property taxes. McCleary, if properly implemented, will disallow local levies for public schools.

One possible local positive outcome of McCleary will be the willingness of Seattle voters to split up the district into two or more manageable districts without the fear of losing levy funds.

Our smaller north and south districts will be able to set reasonable priorities that better match their families demographics without pitting one against the other.

Until McCleary passes,we should reject any new levies if only to help ween SPS off of them ASAP.

McCleary supporter

Melissa Westbrook said...

North versus South? Sure, that's a swell idea.

Here's the thing, you have a point but it would take dividing the district into smaller districts and frankly, I think that would be difficult.

I, too, have wondered what the district will do once McCleary is implemented. Will they continue to expect such large levy sums from voters?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Split the district at Madrona, or go with 3 districts. North of the ship canal would be one. South of the ship canal to Renton would be the second. The 3rd would be West and Southwest Seattle.

District 2 will need at least one more High school to serve QA and Magnolia.

The splitting would likely help fend off more charter schools by having the appearance and hopefully more local control.

McCleary supporter

Lynn said...

McCleary supporter,

Neither of the districts you've suggested would have homogenous demographics and they would therefore have to continue to provide services to wide range of students. There isn't a single homogenous region in the district. Smaller districts won't solve the problem you perceive.

Anonymous said...

I would think once you create the separate districts, those districts will mold into the type of district that might draw in the demographics they would like to be best at serving. They would be de facto MAGNET districts. Similar to the magnet programs used to lure parents into sending their child across the city.

As you know Seattle's one type of district for all is not serving many groups well, management seems to just run around in circles putting out fire after fire.

In a multi-district city, each district might want to persist a various negative stereotypes. Perhaps the one about black male students and therefore would draw in those families who fall for the trap. This frees the other districts from the endless trial and errors SPS is notorious for.

The SW district, also know as the bitch and complain district, can continue doing so. The difference, under the new multi-distrcit city format, people in the SW should be able to look in the mirror and figure out who to blame.

Things will naturally aline according to the synergy of the district.

McCleary supporter

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kind of a Lord of the Flies method, eh, McCleary Supporter?

Anonymous said...

Hmm ... "draw in the demographics they would like." Like keep out certain types? Redline areas? I truly doubt that's what you intended to convey, but that's what it sounded like, and literally that is what has happened in communities across the nation. They self divide and segregate.

As for levy reform, McCleary did not say levies have to be abandoned. Levies are another name for property taxes, and the biggest levy is the state's property tax levy; it flows into the general fund. Locally, we also have limited "excess levies." These by law have to be renewed every couple of years, are capped, and are limited in what they can be used for. Parks, fire districts, schools ... all run excess levies.

McCleary DID NOT say we could not have excess levies. McCleary ruled the STATE has to amply fund its schools, and it cannot push basic education costs down to local school districts to fund via temporary excess levies (unstable, inequitable).

If the state increased its funding to cover its program of basic education, the problem would be solved. To do that, though, it needs to resolve its pay structure.

If Seattle's upcoming excess levy failed, it would be catastrophic. It pays for about 1 out of every 4 teachers. Think things are crowded now ...

Ramona H