Quick Updates

As most of you know, budgets are now being developed at both the district and school levels.   There is a WSS (Weighted Staffing Standards) Committee made up, I believe, of a several principals and staff members.  At the budget work session last week, the principals spoke up and said they could not take any more cuts and, in fact, needed some money restored.

I wasn't at this Work Session but Dorothy Neville was and said you could hear the worry in their voices.

I do wonder what would happen if PUSH really did come to SHOVE.  Meaning, what if district administration would give up something BIG to protect the schools?  Like MAP or some athletics programs or ??? - you tell me.

If you are interested in the budget process, it will be the topic of discussion at the next Seattle Council PTSA meeting on Monday, Feb. 13th.  Here's their blurb:

Join us at our next Seattle Council PTSA General Meeting where we will discuss the nuts and bolts of school allocations plus an update on the State Budget and how that impacts SPS.  This is a great opportunity for PTA/PTSA Presidents, Treasurers, PTA Budget Committee members and BLT (Building Leadership Team) reps to understand school budgets.  Been through school budgets lots of times before?  Come share your experiences with PTSA leaders who are new to the process.

School Board President, Michael DeBell and Sherry Carr, School Board Chair for Audit and Finance, will be there to answer questions.

6:30-8:30 p.m. at the JS Center, Rooms 2772-2774

Thanks to reader Steve for this information.

Also, many of you have been letting me know about the Advanced Learning surveys that you have received via e-mail.

This is a survey developed by the Advanced Learning Taskforce.  We are fortunate enough to have a professional on the team who wrote the survey so we hope it is better than the usual survey. 

Note: different parents will receive different surveys.   We have a survey for nearly every kind of parent so that we can shape the questions to their experience (as well as ask general questions on what they would like/change/keep).   I am trying to get a live survey link so that as many people as possible can take it. 


Dorothy Neville said…
FWIW, I am working on a more detailed description of the budget and the budget worksession. Won't be ready until tonight though.
TraceyS said…
I would be interested to see how much money would be saved if the MAP was dropped altogether. I know AL uses it in lieu of ITBS now for the reading/writing comprehension, so I assume their costs would increase. Would there need to be another standardized test in its place, or would MSP be sufficient?

Also, would there be more in-class evaluations done if it were dropped? I suspect we'd save a bundle, and regain substantial use of the libraries again.
Robyn said…

Here's the link to the survey.
Kathy said…
The WSS Committee is made up of volunteer principals. Last year the WSS Committee recommended putting $3M into the WSS. Some felt High Schools weren't given adequate representation.

In the end, the district did not put the recommended $3M into the WSS and took out $2M. I'd like to note that $1.6M was left in the budget for "Performance Management"

The budget process should begin from the classrooms up. I'd hope the directors start by putting back th $2M that was taken out from last year- and adding recommended $3M.

Last year the district did make some good changes relating to sp. ed. funding and K-8. But, from my perspective...it was an exercise of futility. The previous board had a different agenda.

Let's hope, with a new board, we will see more classroom support.

Left to administration..our classrooms will be less than bone dry.
Kathy said…

MAP can not be looked at in isolation. You have to include dollars around Performance Management, the department of Research, Evaluation and Assessment (funded at $3M per year) and infrastructure that is required for the Strategic Plan.
Maureen said…
mirmac above, that TFA guy is going to the New Schools Venture Fund, not Seattle's New School Foundation.
whitney said…
Elementary school counselors and high school Career Specialists must be restored to the WSS. These were taken out several years ago. It is an embarrassment to our district and a slap in the face to kids in need. Just as school nurses, these positions are necessary to provide basic services to our students.
TraceyS said…
Kathy, I am not the least surprised that it is not a simple matter. Budgeting rarely is. It does sound like the complexities around funding for MAP, or any other standardized testing, are quite significant, and I do not even pretend to understand it all.

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