Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Seattle Schools Shuts Down (for one day this year and a half-day next)

From the Seattle Times:

In an effort to show the public that state funding cuts hurt, Seattle Public Schools plans to shut down for one full day before school starts, and close school early on another day during the school year.

Principals have agreed to take Aug. 31 as a furlough day, and the district announced Wednesday that it has reached a tentative agreement with teachers and other school staff to do the same, plus a half-day later in the year.

The Aug. 31shutdown will be a few days before the school year starts on Sept. 7. It will affect training and other activities scheduled for that day. The district's enrollment office will be closed, too. Nearly all district staff will be gone, Harman said.

The other half-day will occur sometime in January or February, and the union hopes to hold some kind of joint district-union activity in Olympia.

Um, will anyone really notice?

In Seattle, Harman said, "we did not feel that, given the reductions we've already made over the last three years, that we could just simply ... backfill for this loss in state revenues."

If approved by the union's representative assembly, teachers will take 1 1/2 days of furlough in each of the next two school years, plus give up 5.5 hours of training. The district will make up the rest — roughly one-third of the total loss.

The district previously announced that all central office employees will take furloughs, too. Upper level management will take four days; others will take two.

It pretty much looks like the teachers get a wash as far as the raise for next year and the principals are absorbing 85% of the state's mandated 3% cut to their base salary.  (I believe their contract would still allow them to receive any benefits beyond that including performance pay.)

(I didn't get a press release on this story nor on the story that upper level management taking 4 days furlough.)


seattle citizen said...

"Um, will anyone really notice?"

The teachers and principals most certainly will: Even though they are "not working" August 31st, they will most certainly be busy preparing for school, anyway, so what they'll notice will mainly be the one-day hole in their paychecks, about $200.

Not a lot of money, true, but noticeable. Work for free 8/31, teachers: Your adoring public needs you!

Kathy said...

Last year the district proposed a $19M teacher contract. The district told directors funding would be provided via Supplemental Levy, TIF grant and "other funding".

The board approved this half baked funding proposal. So, how is it working out?

I predict further cuts to our classrooms based on this board's approval of non-sustainable strategic initiatives, contracts etc.

Time to vote out incumbents.

mirmac1 said...

No one will notice that JSCEE is shutdown. Those folks don't answer their phones or email anyway. Ms. Enfield, I hope you are fixing this.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I didn't mean that comment to be directed to the principals and teachers so I apologize. I meant it more in terms of headquarters.

Kathy, I would love a full accounting of where the Supplemental Levy money has gone.

Kathy said...


I'd like to see full accounting of Supplemental Levy too.

I've also asked for a multi-year budget for the Strategic Plan. A director forwarded my request to Duggan Harmon. I haven't heard back. My guess..it doesn't exist.

The district continues to fumble blindly through funding the Strategic Plan. Again, I feel certain our classrooms will suffer losses due to district incompetence.

KG said...

Why should anyone take a furlough?

Duggan Harmon, Ha Ha what a joke.

Where is his shared sacrifice?

He cannot answer simple questions at school noard meetings so he passes the buck to ob Boesche.

Furlough him and the central beast for 20 days each no one will miss this fiasco in which they are.

Charlie Mas said...

Wow! There sure are a lot of haters on the Times comment thread.

Anonymous said...

i read some of the Seattle times comments, boy, there are some people who just love to hate Teachers/SPS/Teachers unions. I would love to see any one of them last a day in an Urban classroom. As i heard Diane Ravitch say in a speech she gave in Houston a while back. She would love to see Mr. Gates/Broad walk a day in a teachers shoes.


mirmac1 said...

Here is a head to head comparison of FY12 CA to FY11 CA. As you can see, a nominal cut to CA with a major increase to total budget, gets you to the magic 6% number. Yellow highlights are new positions/titles/cost items, orange highlights are last years items that no longer appear.

Note that labor budgets are not burdened. In other words benefits are not reflected in the amounts shown for FTEs.

Anonymous said...

It seems calculated to not be noticed. Excepting people who work in schools, who on earth will notice they are shut down 8/31? We'll all be on vacation or at the store loading up on school supplies. So teachers/principals get less money but the public notices no gap in service. Any longer waits or unpreparedness for the school year that results will be chalked up as an isolated problem. And school funding can continue to be cut because no one notices.