Thursday, April 08, 2010

Community Meeting on SPS Budget

Seattle Public Schools has scheduled two community meetings to provide information about how schools are funded and strategies to close the funding gap for the 2010-11 school year. The district will also seek feedback on plans to address the shortfall. In addition, families are invited to share their ideas on what SPS programs and services are most important for them to have protected as the district begins to address a projected $26 million budget gap for the 2011-12 school year. Interpreters will be available at both community meetings, which will include a question-and-answer session. The meetings will be Saturday, April 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Aki Kurose Middle School, 3928 Graham St., and Tuesday, April 20, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Roosevelt High School, 1410 N.E. 66th St.


Megan Mc said...

Schools have already turned in their budgets on fabricated enrollment projections based on the district's worse case scenario. What else is there to engage in? Seems to me they've already made the decisions to drop elementary counselors, RIF teachers, and increase class size. Where was the public engagement then? What, if any, assurance do we have that they'll do anything that the public recommends? What data will we have to make recommendations from?

Sahila said...

Just what I thought, Megan... and only two community meetings?

And did you see the red flags, the clearly articulated threat to close other schools/programmes?

Charlie Mas said...

This is standard procedure for Seattle Public Schools: to do the community engagement AFTER the decisions are made.

This should be the primary topic of discussion at these (and every) community meeting.

seattle said...

Do we have any numbers on enrollment yet? Open enrollment is over, I'd like to see what enrollment and waitlists look like at individual schools now. I'd like to see how the 10% open enrollment worked out for high schools.

Any news yet?

seattle citizen said...

Schools have made decisions based on the budgets they recieved. This has nothing to do with RIFs that might come later.

I don't think that people understand that the budget tsunami that recently swept through schools was only the first wave of TWO:
RIF notices are due May 15. There's plenty of time to cut more certs...The District still needs to cut 17 million out of the budget: 200 certs would just about cover it.

Unknown said...

From what I saw in the work sessions, this is going to be another one of the "break into small groups and report back" public meetings. After observing a couple of these meetings during NSAP, it's important to do a couple of things if you want your issues heard:

1. Break up your group. If a group of you are all together to talk about your issue (eg elementary counselors), split up and get into as many groups as you can. That way your voice will be heard more often.

2. Even if other groups have already said what you are going to address, say it again!. The record that comes out of the meeting is a numbered list of the items that parents specifically said. If you say "I agree with everything that has already been said," it does not get into the written record.

Please repeat, repeat, and repeat the things that are important to you! I don't know that the engagement meetings will help, or that the District will listen, but you can at least minimize the stacking of the deck against public input.

dan dempsey said...

Megan Mc said:
"What, if any, assurance do we have that they'll do anything that the public recommends? What data will we have to make recommendations from?"

Based on past performance ...
the assurance you have is that the Board will neglect looking at all data unfavorable to the decision they wish to make. Now it appears that four directors will look at all the evidence and not weigh it appropriately in decision making. What a refreshing change... right??

These four cases Briggs, Ovalles, Williams and Malone, have been consolidated into one case and are headed to the Commissioner of the Supreme Court for a hearing without oral argument on April 15. These involve the student assignment plan and the closing of schools (especially Cooper).

If you noticed the last school board meeting the Board seems to make it appear they will now look at all the material and then reach flawed decisions because four directors are unable to intelligently apply data.... See NTN contract vote of 4-3 to sign a contract to copy severely under performing schools. Complete with a memo from Gates Data Guru Eric Anderson that tells them that the NTN model will present a challenge.

Again district fails to follow laws and asked for a pass on submitting evidence to the public in regard to 2-3-10 decision on NTN, thus any data and evidence it contained could not be used by the public for the 4-7-10 decision.

WHO do these directors represent????

The solution is to recall four school directors and fire the superintendent if better decision making is desired.

dan dempsey said...

See 93:45 Here

Read it HERE