Update at 6:29 pm : yes, the Work Session on the Budget is still going. Staff wants a consensus tonight (which is not what the Board expected.). I think there is a big squeeze on the Board but they are pushing back.
Consensus seems to be this is no way to run a district (and that not opening the Cedar Park is a non-starter for at least three directors.)
End of update
Everyone is at the table but Director Patu. Lots of staff who seem surprisingly cheery for a serious budget meeting.
Superintendent is saying this is a manufactured crisis and on the Legislature. Director Geary and other staffers were in Olympia this morning, visiting Seattle delegation. "The stalemate continues" there.
Note: this is being broadcast on Channel 26 and live-streamed at district website.
There will be a press conference with 35 school districts tomorrow about levy cliff.
Noel Frame - 36th district and Nicole Macori for 43rd talked by phone for full funding. Seattle delegation met with Nyland, etc.at a 7 am meeting this morning and the massive import of addressing levy cliff. They are co-sponsors of bill on this issue and this hour, House is hearing bill on third day of session and get it moved out of House. They believe they have a mandate from voters to get swift action.
Dems behind this but they are worried about Reps and lack of progress on McCleary and worried it will happen to levy cliff. What they want is calling on Senate to hold a hearing on this bill. No hearing currently scheduled. New chair of Senate Ed committee (she didn't name him or her) and believes that person should be pressured. Zieger from the 25th is chairman.
Not just a Seattle issue and need to mobilize around the state. (I would think the WAPTSA could help with this effort.)
Blanford asked for specifics of Senate members to call beyond leadership/ committee members.
Frame said immediate next step is getting hearing from committee. (I will look this up and provide names and contact info.).
MOved on to Budget presentation
Harris asked for Central Office Efficiencies to be explained. It is RIFs there but no explanation.
Blanford then, unbelievably, asked about comparisons with other districts for administration. Waste of time given our predictament AND the fact that school cuts are far worse than admin cuts. Plus no one said that there is Central Office AND Central Adm so that percentage is far higher than is being explained.
Chris Kronos Highland Park principal and president of PASS is speaking on WSS committee process. They were invited into process, we asked for principals who had experienced this in the past, Met 4-5 times over 2-3 months. (There were also SEA and JSCEE staff.) Cuts Will hit elementary schools the hardest. Cuts in office staff in larger schools is likely. Assistant principal portion was difficult to deal with esp for schools that get levies dollars and purchase higher number of staff (like high needs schools.).
Issues created by reductions was brought up.
Back to JoLynn.
Page 19 of PResentation now represents the cuts:
- 19 assistant principals
- 120 teachers
- 2.5 librarians
- 2.0 nurses (plus lowering number of hours for some other nurses)
- 4.0 counselors
- 18 core certificated
- 12.5 office staff
I didn't do the math but they are saying it's 178 positions.
Director Patu has arrived.
Harris asked about CSIPs and accountability that is "clear as mud." Kronos said that it's up to principals and EDs.
Peters opined about loss of counselors and 60% being the poverty cut-off while there are still schools hthat have high numbers of kids in poverty.
The room is now full.
I"m going to have to end it here as it is too hard to report in detail. I will keep taking notes and try to just include high level info.