Couple of quick Olympia updates.
 From the Washington State PTSA:

The Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, of which we are a member, is taking action on the Farm to School program and funding for Safe Routes to School, both of which touch on PTA’s longtime advocacy for healthy kids. If these are your issues, send a note or call your legislator. - Ramona Hattendorf, Washington State PTA government relations coordinator.

Quick cut and paste messages:

Please restore state funds to the Small Farm Direct Marketing Program and the Farm to School Program.

The Farm to School Program has supported hundreds of local farmers and schools in their efforts to get high quality, nutritious Washington-grown foods to our state’s children. The state investment of $300,000 per biennium leveraged almost $300,000 in federal dollars, and has opened new markets for farmers and sustained farm jobs in our local communities.

Please put more money into Complete Streets and Safe Routes to Schools.

Even though bicycling and walking make up 6% of all trips statewide, those modes currently get only 0.3% of state transportation funds.

Please consider sending a message to your legislator if you support these programs.  Find your legislator.

From the Stranger Slog, SEA is represented among the thousands of union workers in Washington State.

Every year, some teachers receive pink slips and then they are brought back when jobs open up again, Knapp said. "Each of the last two years, reduction in force has been covered by attrition when people retire or leave the district," he said. At least 200 teachers leave the district every year on their own accord, Knapp said, out of a total 0f 5,000 union members.

Also from the Slog, the top questions for Dr. Enfield at Questionland next Wednesday (out of 55 submitted):
  • Will you cut Central Administration costs from 9% down to 6%, like every other district in the state?
  • Will you put Teach for America teachers (who have 5 weeks of training) in front of students, or will you rehire riffed teachers with experience?
  • Will you spend even more money on standardized testing, or will you rehire career counselors, and paraprofessionals to work with students?
  • Will you lay off elementary counselors?


mirmac1 said…
I LIKE those questions! Enquiring minds want to know!
KG said…
All the counselors at the School Board meeting did a great job helping the Board understand how important the job is of helping the students daily and some of the issues they help with kids daily. Great job counselors!

Now we will see if the Board does the responsible thing. I believe that Smith-Blum is pushing to retain the elementary counselors.
The question I would like to ask is HOW/WHY are coaches (LA,math,data,etc.) more important than elementary school counselors.

No one is saying to get rid of a position forever but making a choice between what will make a difference now.

I believe our teachers can do the job they are paid for without coaches for a couple of years. I don't believe students - in any school - will do as well without the support of elementary school counselors.

I want someone to explain that to me.
Anonymous said…
I agree with KG: the counselors (and others who spoke on their behalf) did a great job speaking at the board meeting too.

And its really a no brainer in the first place especially if you consider how children of color and impoverished kids are doing in our schools. Those in power don't seem to care. Seems everyone values counselors except the gatekeepers. What's their problem? Makes me mad because the kids don't have a voice in this and I know what they would say.

KG said…

These Board members accept for Smith-Blum do not understand the role of counselors. It is easy to cut the children's lifeline when you do not have to look them squarely in the face. I suggest to the board that if they cut the counselors that the school can call them on their cell-phone and they can pay out of their own pockets to help these children in need. Amazing that Sundquist, DeBell and the others seem not to ask questions regarding this tasteless move. They need to be given the boot. A size 24.

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