Tuesday, May 15, 2012


From Dr. Enfield:

Due to ongoing budget limitations, the School Board on May 2 authorized a very limited Reduction in Force this year. Given our growing enrollment and our priority to protect funding that directly affects our classrooms, we have worked hard to ensure we maintain and retain the backbone of our District – our employees.

Unfortunately it is necessary for us to reduce our staffing in a few areas by up to 45 positions, including 17 Classified and 28 Certificated staff, primarily in the areas of counseling, Physical Education, Music, Career Technical Education and English Language Learners. Affected staff members in these positions were notified during the past several days about this RIF.  In total, we also eliminated 11 Central Office positions.

Although this is a limited Reduction in Force compared to previous years, it is not easy and has a tremendous impact on those employees who will lose their position.  I want to thank those staff members for their service to Seattle Public Schools and our students.  Our Employee Assistance Program, together with the Seattle Education Association and Human Resources, are offering a resource program for Classified and Certificated staff on May 23. This program will include information about unemployment, benefits, job search resources, as well as the Right to Return process.

I want to thank our Budget team and our Human Resources Department for their work this spring. It is our goal to present the Board a balanced budget by June 20th, and our Budget team is working hard on finding ways to protect classroom funding in these challenging budget times. 

Word is that Cleveland's counselors may be protected because they are grant-funded but I'll have to ask the SEA about this.


mirmac1 said...

Right. College-ready, but figure it out fer yerself!

Anonymous said...

reposted from the Tues open thread:

Counseling is the only position not capitalized in the letter, a reflection of the devaluing of socioemotional and guidance needs of students in the district. One third of the cuts to certs were to counselors. This is after two previous years of taking the deepest cuts in the district.

Counselors are disappearing in the N, E, S and W. and for all the wrong reasons. All over the city school communities are finding their counselors are gone and boxes of test packets fill the space where they once stood.


Disgusted said...

I'm hoping LEV and the Alliance are noticing. They continually push non-proven reforms which take dollars out of our classrooms. Yup, laying off ELL staff will really help close the achievement gap.

Anonymous said...

Dear god, just cancel the MAP contract already, and save some serious $$$ there. It is becoming ridiculous to keep funding that behemoth as these budget shortfalls continue.

A little common sense please

Josh Hayes said...

Does anyone have any info about the "eleven central office positions" that were cut? Just wondering.

Carol Simmons said...

I also noticed that Counseling was the only position not capitalized in Dr. Enfield's letter. Counselors are disappearing. Sell the Stanford Center, eliminate MAP testing, keep commercial advertising out of the schools, restore public input at School Board meetings, start school and School Board meetings later, appeal the MOU, do not close any more schools, and Charlie why do you have Susan's photee on your postings?

Charlie Mas said...

@Carol Simmons who asked: "Charlie why do you have Susan's photee on your postings?"

Because it tickles me and itches her.

Charlie Mas said...

@A little common sense please,

When the District first bought the MAP it was all about having a standard formative assessment for the whole district.

We wanted a formative assessment to inform instruction. MAP is rarely, if ever, used for that and it has questionable value as that kind of tool.

We wanted the whole district to adopt the same formative assessment as part of the alignment effort, to assure that the instructional content was the same in every school. MAP is never used for that purpose.

Now we keep MAP because it is used to assess teachers, not students. That has become the primary (if not sole) rationale for it.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons that there are fewer RIFs is that senior teachers are being forced out at record numbers.

If you are a teacher who has been forced out please contact our group. We are in Phase One of legal and media efforts to reform the policies that have cost the careers of so many fine teachers.

You are not alone. Salander


alxdark said...

45 layoffs, and only 11 in the central office? There's a problem right there. As has been said here already: cancel MAP and cancel bus service for students to their own neighborhood school, before you cut counselors, music instructors, etc.

Anonymous said...

Teachers and counselors must come first. Central office takes the hit. A4E boondoggle? Cut it now.

Isn't this the point of successful charters? The ones that actually work? They offer support in the building. Which we could be doing RIGHT NOW but aren't. Pure politics and it is hurting students and driving away teaching talent.

Mr White

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about forcing senior teachers to retire. Are they limiting retirement benefits unless they retire this year? I don't know the personal details but I'm surprised by the number of retirees this year too.

Where's the sense?

KG said...

RIF Central admin. down to 3%, the same as medicare and social security run on.

16 Riffed counselors.

Shame on SSD.

Anonymous said...

MGJ started a policy to "fast track out the dead wood". Senior teachers are more expensive.
There is also the insane belief that the fresher the better.
Experienced teachers are a problem as they ask those darn "why?" questions.
Also, she may have wanted to make room for TFA.


CT said...

It's happening in a lot of districts. The senior teachers cost more, are more likely to speak up about the flawed testing and scripted instruction, and make many of the new principals who have only a couple of years of teaching experience feel uncomfortable. Solution: give them bad evaluations so they are forced out.
Offhand, I can think of 13 30+ year veteran teachers who are retiring or quitting this year, and only one of those makes me think "Finally!". The rest are all great teachers who will be sorely missed and not easily replaced.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I am a parent with no inside info, but it seems from past experience in my school it is much harder than just a few bad evaluations to get rid of a tenured teacher.

Where's the sense?

mirmac1 said...

Where's the sense,

"tenured teacher"?! Are you from around here? Teachers don't have tenure. Some teachers have been put on PIPs the second week a new principal starts, without a classroom observation!

Plus, the whole evaluation "tool" is top secret/for admin's eyes only. Why is it not posted for everyone to see? So we can judge for ourselves whether a teacher isn't cutting the mustard?

Anonymous said...

Parents got the news today that our beloved Hamilton orchestra teacher is among the RIFed. Everyone feels outraged -- this teacher has built the program from the ground up and does an outstanding, inspiring job. I know it is a seniority thing and supposedly not a comment on her work -- but if you think about it, losing your job is ALWAYS a comment on your work. Someone clearly has judged it not important, as if a music program can just keep on going as usual no matter who is in charge. Blech.

Mother of MS and HS students said...

Just learned than an outstanding counselor at Ingraham Carrie Fisher was alos RIFFED. She's excellent AND she has 8 year sof experience.

Highl likely she will get rehired by the end of the sumer -- at another school. So they will take a counselor form somewhere else who will have to learn Ingraham. And Carie will have tolearn a new school.

Doesn't seem liek this is what is best for students.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Carrie Richard(*) seems great! Is there anything parents can do to help keep her at Ingraham?

Incoming IHS mom

(*) I knew who you were talking about, but when I typed 'Fisher' it seemed TOO familiar!