Upcoming Board Meeting - April 6, 2011

The Board will meet next week for their regular legislative meeting. The agenda has been posted to the District web site.

Some items of note:

The Teaching and Learning Update, presented by Cathy Thompson will be an update on STEM. I don't know what they have to report or why they chose to report at this time, but I'll be happy to see it. Points of interest for me will be an update on the STEM budget, feedback on the NTN materials, and an update on the ALE process. I hope they will report that the school demographics haven't changed much and the high number of the students who come from the neighborhood.

The Board is scheduled to vote on Consulting Services for Program Evaluation; Teacher Incentive Fund, but the contract isn't there for them to review. This reminds me of the NTN contract, the Annual Approval of Schools, and the $750,000 contract for high school alignment that the Board voted to approve immediately after acknowledging that they didn't know what it was about. The Board needs to exercise oversight and they can't do that if the staff doesn't provide them with the necessary resources. The Board really should defer the vote on this until they - and the public - have had a chance to review the contract. There's no urgency, no emergency. Let's see how much they care about oversight, about transparency, and about building trust. Only a mindless rubber-stamp board would approve this motion this week.

As usual, the bulk of the Board votes are about property management - mostly approving construction or maintenance contracts. five of them are for introduction and action at the same meeting. Are these emergencies? No, the contractors just won't wait another two weeks.

The Introduction Items begin with a Resolution in support of the City’s Family and Education Levy. That's followed by a Resolution authorizing a Reduction in Force.

Then the introduction items finish with more property management stuff.

You can see how it would be best if the District found some way to out-source a lot of this property management work to allow them to focus on academics. Moreover, they just aren't good at it. Seattle Public Schools is one of the biggest land owners in the state, but I wouldn't want them to manage a real estate portfolio for me.


Ditto on the land management. Terrible. I wish they would allow the City to take over this function.

Ditto on the TIF contract. This is where we will see the rubber meet the road for this Board and new administration. If they pull out the "gotta get it done card", then we'll know not much has changed. That Jessica de Barros can't get her work done on time isn't the public's fault or the Board's.

If the Board goes along with this, then we know that (1) they learned nothing from the NTN contract and (2) they are going to continue the rubber-stamp actions of the past.

From the reduction in force item:

"Alternative: The Superintendent, if certificated positions were not eliminated through a reduction in force, would need to increase cuts in other areas of the District to create a balanced budget for 2011-12."

Then do that first. Keep the cuts away from schools. Why this is a better alternative than cutting the central adm down to 6% or so, I don't know.
dan dempsey said…
Oh no I disagree.......

It is an emergency.

"As usual, the bulk of the Board votes are about property management - mostly approving construction or maintenance contracts. five of them are for introduction and action at the same meeting. Emergency? No, the contractors just won't wait another two weeks."

This is an Emergency ..... because an emergency exists when the SPS says it is an emergency. Normally MGJ declared emergencies. Pres. Sundquist declared the emergency only 22 hrs before the Board meeting that gave away $400,000 to two criminals.

NOTE the reason it is an emergency is not required and seldom is the reason ever stated.

I brought this up with Noel Treat that the prohibition on one meeting intro/action is ridiculous because it is only based on saying emergency. There is clearly no rubric that guides any determination of what constitutes an emergency.

BUT THIS COMING ACTION ... clearly is an emergency because ..... It says immediate action is in the best interests of the school district.

How is it that planning far enough ahead ... is NOT in the best interests of the school district?

Consider the SBAR dated: 2-8-2011 for about $900,000 at RBHS......

Executive Committee Review: February 9, 2011
Operations Committee Review: February 17, 2011
Superintendent Review: April 1, 2011

So this merits a one meeting slam dunk.......???

At least this one is legal .... which is a lot more than one can say for S. Enfield's actions involving the NTN SBARs and the Superior Court.
Dorothy Neville said…
FYI, the Resolution to support the F&E levy will require them to temporarily switch to a "public hearing" that allows for public testimony regarding the resolution.
Michael H said…
Dan, you keep saying "two criminals.". I know this is your opinion. Although I am not a lawyer, if I were I would certainly consider suing you for libel/slander/whatever. They have not been found guilty of anything (except in the Court of Dan). How's that Superior Court thing going for you anyways? What ever happened to that forgery complaint/police report you filed with Seattle Police?

As for the board declaring an emergency, what about the state legislature doing the same thing just to rush things through and avoid citizen referendums or initiatives? What about those so-called "Title Only" bills in Olympia? At least the board hasn't started doing that.....yet.
Kathy said…
Regarding certificated RIFs:

"Board to determine the relative priority of displaced certificated employees and certificated administrators transferred to subordinate positions. Under this resolution, after certificated administrators have been identified for transfer to a subordinate certificate position for the 2011-12 school year based on the Superintendent’s determination under RCW 28A.405.230, the specific subordinate certificated position that they will be transferred to will be determined by applying the same seniority rules that apply to certificated non-supervisory employees under the SEA Collective Bargaining Agreement".

Does this mean a certificated administrative employee (i.e principal) would retain same amount of pay in a subordinate position?

I've heard public complain of principals working in HR (clerical positions) while collecting principal pay. I don't know the validity of such statements.

Does anyone know? If so, I'd love to see this as an area of reduction.
Kathy said…
I agree. Board MUST see Wested. contract before voting approval.
dan dempsey said…
Dear Michael H,

In regard to a lawsuit over slander, libel, etc. I say bring it on.

I define criminal to be person who committed a criminal act, as in violated an existing law. I will say it again: MGJ and Susan Enfield violated laws and the Board knew about it and did NOTHING. Check the school board testimony and check the court records. The fact MGJ was not fired with cause by the Board nor even charged with wrong doing by the Board says more about the inept state of the system than anything else. Has Sgt. Charles even begun an investigation?

I would welcome the opportunity to show that MGJ violated an existing law. In fact that she committed numerous contract infractions so that the Board should have fired her with cause. The 22 hour cover-up speaks volumes to the Board's integrity. YUP it was a Sundquist declared emergency .... ever wonder who needed the coverup more MGJ or the Board?

Read the declarations submitted in the last recall from Sundq., M-M, Carr, & Maier. It is more than apparent that RCW 28A 645.020 was not fulfilled, which is a School Board responsibility..... these folks each said not my fault ... it is some subordinate's fault.

#1 RCW 28A 645.020 is the Board's duty
#2 The faulty subordinate in question was S. Enfield and the board held her accountable by making her interim Superintendent on 22 hrs. notice.

The Standard for performance of Public School Directors and Central Administrative Officials in Seattle could hardly be any lower.

In England there is a huge impairment of free speech because of the bizarre English view of libel.... It has yet to show up in the USA.......

Thats my story and I'm Stickin' to it.
seattle citizen said…
Michael H,
While I don't necessarily agree with Dan using the term "criminal," I don't think it's fair to use the insulting tone you do about his trying to hold people to legality. Just because his legal actions were not moved forward by the powers that be does not mean they don't/didn't have merit. In fact, some of them are prima facia illegal and against policy.
There was lots of stuff going on, shenanigans, that went unanswered and the law seemed to be a last recourse to obtain the so-called "accountability" that was, evidently, so prized byt the administration and the board.
I admire Dan for taking action, whether I agreed with all of them or not. Sometimes you just have to go the extra mile, right or wrong, and Dan did.
seattle citizen said…
Kathy, am I reading your selected quote (from RIF board action) correctly?
In the event of a RIF, FIRST they will slot all downtown certificated (but non-teaching) teach into other jobs, THEN use the seniority system to RIF? Will the downtown certs be included in the general RIF after they are moved from downtown? If so, why move them first? If not, why not?
seattle citizen said…
Hmm, on re-reading it, perhaps not. I was confused by the "priority" statement. BUt the question still holds: Why not just (heaven forbid) just start the RIF and let the seniority fall where it may? Why move people first, then RIF? Maybe someone can explain.
Kathy said…
Seattle Citizen,

Not sure.

I'm wondering if administrative positions will retain the same rate of pay in subordinate positions.

We can't afford this; not when we're seeing cuts to WSS and elimination of elementary school counselors.
Salander said…
Scrap the TIF, Now. It is just another reform that will implode. Look at the language of which the contract is proposed. It is brimming with snakeoil.

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