Best Wishes to Readers Both Jewish and/or Hispanic

 First, a Happy Rosh Hashanha , which starts tonight, to all my Jewish readers!   And second, it's Hispanic Heritage Month and it started last Friday, the 15th. You wouldn't know that from the SPS webpage nor their September edition of their "First Bell" video which is all about what's happening in SPS.  Director Lisa Rivera Smith is Hispanic but maybe she forgot as well. 

Abandon Hope All Ye in Seattle Schools

And by hope, I mean the ability to have even one ounce of influence in the direction of the district or conveying any issues to the Board. After yesterday's Work Session on the budget, it is clear: that decisions are being made behind the scenes AND will be presented as a fait accompli to parents that Director Michelle Sarju is not fully engaged with the work of the Board (not saying she isn't doing anything - she's just not engaging with the work to the level all the other members are). She was reading something on her computer nearly the entire time. When the camera was on her area, you never saw her look at any speaker. She had NO comments on anything. It was bizarre. that you have a near-constant coming and going at JSCEE. They finally have a CFO - Dr. Kurt Buttleman (also named as an assistant superintendent) but now they are losing the guy who figures out how bad the budget deficit will be (he is retiring). Buttleman did say one funny thing which was to tell the Board

This and That, September 19, 2023

Update 2: I have seen on a couple of Facebook pages that there have been robberies involving attacks on students in the Ballard area. (I see from the West Seattle Blog that there have been robberies in several areas of West Seattle as well; one at gunpoint.) Last night two Ballard High students were attacked by men in a maroon or red SUV. One student's phone was taken.  Obviously, kids like to walk with their phones out, either checking them or talking on them. Maybe don't do that at night? I wish I knew the answer.  end of update Update: SEA contacted me and those are their endorsements and they won't be changing them.  end of update The Seattle Teachers Association has been pretty quiet on the endorsement front but at their website, they put up a list of their endorsements for Seattle School Board.  D1 - Debbie Carlsen D2 - Lisa Rivera Smith D3 - Christie Robertson D4 - Gina Topp The SEA's turning away from incumbent Liza Rankin in D1 is huge, considering she helped

Key Seattle Schools' Board Work Session on the Budget on Wednesday, September 20,2023

The Board is having a Work Session on the next district budget tomorrow, Wednesday the 20th, from 4:30-6:00 pm. Here's the agenda. (I updated this link as the district has made the actual page link to the agenda not accessible.) This meeting will be  live streamed on SPSTV  and broadcast on television on Comcast 26 (standard-def) and 319 (hi-def), Wave 26 (standard-def) and 695 (hi-def), and Century Link 8008 (standard-def) and 8508 (hi-def). By Teleconference: +1 206-800-4125 (Conference ID: 678 122 215#) The objective of the Work Session is "Provide the foundation for the budget development process for Seattle Schools." Agenda • Lessons Learned & Commitments from 2023-24 Process • Current Situation • Proposed Goals and Principles • Proposed Timeline for Budget Development Process • Board Feedback I find some of this funny. Like after the last round for budget planning they are "knowledgeable about our budget and fiscal picture." Whew! Glad to kno

"Well-Resourced Schools" Survey and Last Forum

 Just FYI from Seattle Schools: Due to overwhelming community interest, the well-resourced schools online meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m.  Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 813 4923 6575 Passcode: 105783 One tap mobile +12532158782,,81349236575#,,,,*105783# US (Tacoma) +12532050468,,81349236575#,,,,*105783# US Moving this online engagement to Tuesday, Sept. 26, after the school year has begun will allow for wider community participation. It will also help us prepare an exceptional experience for a larger number of people.  We hope you will join us!   American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and closed captioning will be available during the online meeting. Amharic, Cantonese, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese interpreters will also be available. Also, there is a survey with the same questions asked at the in-person forums. The survey is also available in 5 languages.

Updated Endorsements for Seattle School Board Races, 2023

 District 1 - Debbie Carlsen Incumbent Liza Rankin is a die-hard Student Outcome Focused Governance fan (and apparently took some training to be a coach of it). That means that because of that support, she helped get rid of Board committees that provided needed oversight of staff/district activities and spending. She helped reduce oversight of district spending. She helped shorten the amount of discussion on any given item on the Board agenda. Debbie Carlsen will push back on SOFG and is running for more transparency and accountability and community engagement. These are all things that Rankin has either, in word or deed, said no to except on her terms.  Seattle needs a responsible director for District 1.  District 2 - Lisa Rivera Smith or Christina Posten??? I am baffled by this race. Rivera Smith's website, even after the primary, remains a single page . That sure isn't telling voters much. Weird. And River Smith has been quite timid in pushing back against the Board majo