Disqus

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Someone Blinked (Big Surprise, It's the Dems)

Unbelievable.  Much those I wanted ALL our state legislators to get the budget done before the end of the Special Session next week, I did NOT want the Dems to give to the Reps and sure enough, they did.  And guess who is going to suffer?  Public schools.

From Publicola:

"At some point we had to make a move," state house finance chair Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36, Queen Anne) said today, explaining the compromise budget offer the state Democrats made to the Republican-controlled senate. Carlyle concluded: "Because that's how you govern. I hope there's a deal now. We'll see if they continue to be intransigent, but this is what you do to create movement." 

So instead of asking for $1.3B for K-12, the Dems have scaled back to $700M.  That's $700M than is currently received so it falls in the "better than nothing" category but when you cut back to half of what you start with?  Not so much of a victory.  I have no idea how the Supreme Court justices would take what I consider a down payment on McCleary.

Oh and their offer "scales back child care and early learning services and reduces capital budget spending."

What did happen is that the Dems stopped asking for raising taxes on certain things (to fund other things like public education).  They also dropped way back on tax loopholes.  They are getting some of what they want there and according to Carlyle the money would go to

"wrap-around services, parent engagement coordinators, dropout prevention, guidance counselors, and bilingual education." Additionally, the act increases state funding of full-day kindergarten from 22 percent to 53 percent.

Oddly, this is what Rodney Tom - the turncoat Dem - had to say:

I am disappointed that this House budget proposal is balanced on the backs of Washington’s school kids. Our children deserve our first dollars, not our last dime.  We in the Senate will continue to work with our House colleagues to seek a workable compromise, but we will not let political expediency stand in the way of fulfilling our obligation to provide for our schools."

I had to laugh when Rep Gary Alexander (R, Olympia) implies that the Dems are negotiating through the press.  Okay, Rep. Alexander, what is YOUR side doing to get things done?  

This information on public education funding was briefly talked about at last night's Board meeting.  One huge issue is that the Board seems to think the new money from the State is not going to cover Special Ed properly.  

Well, there's a rock and a hard place.  If the district doesn't cover Sped like they should, as OSPI just publicly called them out on, well, look for the State to take over Sped and watch the money get redirected.  

How about starting with that new HR consultant from the newest Gates Group - wait for it -  the Urban Schools Human Capital Academy?    That group was brought up at the Board retreat as needed for principal development and I asked HR's Paul Apostle about it.  Frankly, I find this troubling as (1) who would pay for it? (2) our district really has no idea how to develop and support good principals? and (3) the website for this group has little detail on costs.

This group has already had the consultant in doing a survey/study of HR.  I asked for the report and was told to get it thru public disclosure. 

Our district:
  • doesn't have money for Sped needs (witness the parade of Sped teachers testifying before the Board/Superintendent last night), 
  • outs a Sped student/parent who received a settlement from the district (because of lack of services provided and this is something I have NEVER seen before)
  • seems to cover one single family that has gotten its pound of flesh by removing Jon Greenberg from Center School and 
  • and now have gotten yet another Gates initiative into our district.
Priorities, kids.  They could not make it any clearer what those are.  (More on this in my Board Retreat thread.) 

4 comments:

mirmac1 said...

Make a move, Carlyle? You mean bend over.

mirmac1 said...

And one more abuse of special education students, Melissa - being used as the CBA pinata. Last night was a lot of posturing and breast-beating. You are right, OSPI will impose compliance. Oh well, less money for HR consultants (the 2nd effort in the last two years) and "student growth" reports and value-added.

A-mom said...

Human Capital Academy?

I just threw up a little.

Why don't they just call it the Rabble Sifter Academy?

? said...

http://capitolrecord.tvw.org/2013/06/senate-majority-makes-offer-on-budget-but-releases-no-details/#.UbEjIOtgMm8

Keep an eye on Carlyle and Ross Hunter. These guys better not sell us out to ALEC.