The City wants to "Improve Collaboration" with Seattle Schools

Update:  I missed the part where the City also wants to increase their data collection from their education work.   No big surprise.

End of update.

From the Seattle PI via Joel Connelly, comes the not-so-new news that the City is going to create "a full-fledged Department of Education and Early Learning" that will be part of the next City budget.

The new city department would have 38 employees, the bulk coming from the city’s Human Services Department and the Office of Education.  It would administer a $48.5 million budget, including $30 million annually as part of the Families and Education Levy that provides after-school and health services.

Of course, I suspect this is very dependent upon the City's preschool proposition passing in November.

The PI doesn't mince words:

 However, the widespread distrust and unpopularity of Seattle Public Schools’ central bureaucracy has caused such programs as the Families and Education Levy to be directed out of the city’s education office.

I have never heard that myself - that the City's Office for Education took the reins of F&E dollars because of mistrust of the district's central office.  I'll have to ask around. 

Murray's goal is a good one:

“We want Seattle to be the first city in America that eliminates the achievement gap.”

 But the way to do that is for the City to take a bigger part?  Lead the way?

Naturally, Councilman Burgess is in the mix.  The Mayor didn't call him the "Godfather of Preschool" for nothing.

Oddly, despite not knowing the district well, here's what the Superintendent had to say:

An endorsement also came from interim Seattle Schools Superintendent Larry Nyland, who has made a favorable impression since succeeding Dr. Jose Banda.

“We cannot do this work alone,” said Nyland.  “We are pleased the city will partner with us to meet our goals for student success.”

I keep hearing these bland statements from Nyland and it's starting to concern me.

This needs a careful watching over.  Unless, of course, you do want the City running the district and the Board.


Gus said…
I have it from a reliable source: Murray wants to change the governance structure of Seattle Public Schools.
Transparency Please said…
Actually, the city plans on hiring over 60 administrative positions beyond the next few years.

The city plans to support 2000 students and hire FORTY TWO administrators within the next few years. ** Essentially we're looking at ONE ADMINISTRATOR to every FIFTY children.

See page 4:

Bloated administrative salaries can be found on page 22. Director expected to make $200K and many many salaries north of $150K.

Shall we expect Murray's friends to fill these administrator positions?
Charlie Mas said…
I have heard - for years - directly from City officials that they have no confidence in the school district central administration.
Charlie, I meant (and said) in terms of the F&E levy.
Anonymous said…
I wish the city would focus more on fixing potholes, building sidewalks and finding places for more schools in the northend. I don't want the city taking over the schools. I want Nyland and the board to enforce policy and clean house at JSCEE.

Anonymous said…
What's the news here? It's just another liberal Democrat growing a bloated government bureaucracy.

Fed up
Transparency Please, those are some salaries especially when you compare what they say they will pay the teachers versus the administrators. I'll have a fuller thread on this issue soon.
Linh-Co said…
Larry Nyland is a politician. We are familiar with him from serving on the Washington State Board of Education Math Panel for 2 years. He did not get it on the issue of math and will go along with the majority.

He won't do much to change the district.
Patrick said…
And he's interim anyway. Interims, almost by definition, are caretakers and (correctly) feel they don't have the mandate to make sweeping changes.
mirmac1 said…
Well, if he doesn't grow a backbone soon - Get the perm.
Old Timer said…
The last levy came in the wake of MGJ, Maier, Sundquist et. al.

The city had to take responsibility for levy spending because there was an incredible lack of confidence related to scandal.
Anonymous said…
On its worst day, SPS Admin is 2 grades above the Mayor and City Council. What are they smoking in City Hall? Oh, wait...I think I already know.

Laughable said…
Shall we talk about the City Council, Bertha, transportation and housing.

How are they doing and why does anyone think the city can/should handle education
Laughable, and they just took on Parks.

So they want to oversee two new areas; Parks and a brand-new, citywide pilot preschool program.

Does the City Council really have the bandwidth/expertise for all this?
Anonymous said…
After seeing firsthand several years of SPS administration of the school system, I think "incompetent" would be a charitable word to describe their performance. A less-charitable word at times would be "criminal" (literally). So I find it hard to see how the city could do any worse at running the schools.

Another huge bureaucracy grafted on to a city administration is not exactly ideal. But would the city really be any worse than the bumbling that has gone on at JSCEE for the last decade or more?


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