Tuesday, May 10, 2016

There is No "Free" in "Free Pre-K" (Not for SPS)

A comment caught my eye (and I have already heard this discussion elsewhere but FYI):

don't know if families are aware that SPS developmental preschools or Seattle City preschools will be using the elementary (where they are placed) school's resources (nurse, PT, OT, principal, etc.) but are NOT counted in the overall student count.

This is truly absurd and is and will be stretching schools to do much more with less.

- very concerned teacher


Anonymous said...

The SPS much needed Developmental Preschools are being put in the same situation. The teachers feel bad for using the elementary school resources that the district doesn't fund. Ow can SPS not count tall the kids in the building in their overall count for resources to staff?


Anonymous said...

SPS should make sure that any time SPS employees including school nurses have a charge number they can use to record the time they spend supporting City of Seattle Preschool. Seattle Public Schools should bill the City of Seattle for these employees hours. It's what was promised to us as Seattle Voters. The Ballot Proposal said our City Preschool money would be used to pay for the program in its entirety. The Voters didn't agree to Seattle Public Schools money being used for the Preschool Program.

Anonymous said...

A state audit is needed, stat, on this. Our schools are being shorted 6 ways to a dozen while the city freeloads on our K12 overburdened staff. The accounting is not passing muster and needs daylighting immediately.


Prek said...

I remember seeing a document which indicated the city would provide a very small stipend for nursing support. The district has never provided a work session on finances related to prek and prek hasn't gone through the Audit and Finance committee. Tough to know what is going on...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a contract violation.

Anonymous said...

Our school is down an administrator thanks to the on-the-sly redo of how funds are going to buildings. Melissa, this is an issue many schools are facing. Ask how many have lost administrators. A lot. Who exactly is supposed to review teachers in the classrooms, do scheduling, set up and maintain disciplinary standards, maintain a safe facility, administer testing, deal with transportation snafus, the list goes on. And now to have these preK programs dumped in the schools and not have that merit more building administrative support? It is asinine. These are entirely different programs. That means MORE oversight from administrators, not less.

Are you aware, Melissa, that the New and Improved way of staffing school administrators is by how many certificated staff the principal must manage, not by how many students they have? It is a way once again to shortchange schools at a building level. A huge story that is being missed by this blog and the local press.

Hey, add a city preschool to a building. Only one new teacher to manage! (Nevermind the 20-30 extra kids in the building and associated issues of keeping the littlest ones safe.) I have heard they are also using this to put more special education programs into buildings without appropriate administrative support. How many IEP meetings can one administrator go to when there is no backup for his or her function?

Can you tag this under you b***t keyword?


Anonymous said...

Preschool kids/classes have never counted as part of the total building student count. I don't understand it. Principals spend all this time, resources are used, and the building gets nothing. I've always thought it was outrageous.

Anonymous said...

When our elementary school had a developmental pre-school, the school received funds from SPS to support the program. Our BLT allocated a portion of the funding to add nursing time.

N by NW

Catherine said...

We've got liability and HIPPA issues floating around in the midst of this mess. If you are a health care worker - a nurse - who cares for a person not on your count - and an issue occurs - that nurse is not covered by liability policies. And... patient HIPPA protections don't apply to the patient either.

For example - as a visitor, have you ever fallen in the halls of a hospital? They call 9-1-1 for you - they do not help you - even if you're a hospital employee. This is because they are not covered by their liability until you are officially their patient.

We're one accident from a show.

Anonymous said...

The city will need to provide a nurse, counselor, and administrative staff at each site for these preschool students of theirs. That is in the contract right? This was supposed to be a high quality program, right? No cost to the schools is what was promised. At the least nurses, counsellors, janitorial staff, administrative staff need to be billing the city for each pre-k student. This cannot be paid by PTAs. Perhaps the PTAs will put together invoices of their own for the city.

Anonymous said...

re Developmental Preschools: Each elementary school housing one or more developmental preschool programs receives EXTRA funding and has for many years:

" Preschool Administration $26,486" (from 2016-17 "purple Book"

I do not know the original source of the money (sped or gen ed - varied opinions on this) but each school is at liberty to "spend it for the benefit of the preschool." With no apparent oversight. Some schools may spend it on increased nursing time and in others, well, it just seems to disappear into the general school budget. Very Fuzzy.

Been there.

mirmac1 said...

In the past, schools have coerced an additional $24K from the district for school admin because "Principals’ concerns that preschool students impact schools without generating any BEA money or counting toward additional admin support." (District budget document)

Ignorant principals refuse to recognize that Dev PreK kids bring FTE and supply money to the school. They also count towards an AP allocation. The $24K comes out of SpEd monies, which is restricted to providing for the "excess cost" of providing these vulnerable children the services they need. Another potential audit finding.

mirmac1 said...

Read the SPP MOU/Contract, SPS only covers costs for providing INCLUSIVE supports to children with disabilities once their number exceeds six. Perfect incentive for the City to push our kids out.

mirmac1 said...

The state auditor lamely says "the CBA won't allow for time sheets". WTF. Anything funded by tax dollars should mandate time and effort recording! That is true in the majority of industries accessing tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Mirmac, I think 6 students with disabilities in an inclusive preschool classrooms is a fine limit. Students identified with disabilities in preschools generally have significant or developmental disabilities rather than learning disabilities which are diagnosed later, so 6 is a big number. Hard to say what this number means. The city may want to beef up disability identification to get the sps funding. Pretty hard to imagine that SPS could avoid providing services to students enrolled in spp programs, no matter how many. That will get blown over by the first parent who cares about it.


mirmac1 said...

The City should account for some of this cost, whether 1, 2 or 6. Otherwise "universal" PreK is not, and the cost for it is artificially low.

Jan said...

Speddie: when my sped kiddo was in preschool at age 3-4 and qualified for early SPED services, SPS sent someone to the school to work with him. Wouldn't it work just the same way (and be funded from the same pot of money) for preschools located inside school buildings? There was no money "allocated" to the preschool for it. It was budgeted from within the SPS budget for early ed sped services.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jan and Speddie -
SPS is responsible for assessing preschool-age students who are referred to them for special ed eligibility and then for providing services, in theory, based on individual need. The preschool (or parent, etc), SPS or not, is responsible for REFERRING to SPS. Yes, there is an SPS program staffed by itinerant sped teachers who will go out to preschools to deliver 1 hr. PER WEEK services IF and only IF the community preschool programs are PHYSICALLY LOCATED within an SPS building. This should be happening now. Wouldn't make any difference in funding for school.

( Fun Fact, different topic : if the students attend other community preschools, located, well, in the community, and need the very same service, it's not available at their site. Sorry, kids!)

Been there