SPS Updates

 Update from Twitter via SPS:
The ACT exams scheduled for tomorrow at Franklin & Nathan Hale will still be held. Not impacted by strike.

end of update

Both President Carr's community meeting and the Board Retreat (scheduled for tomorrow, Sept. 12th) have been cancelled.  What a surprise.  Don't know when Carr will be available again; the Retreat is rescheduled for Sept. 26th.

There is another district press conference with updates on the strike at 3 pm.  I may not be able to make it but again, will track -via Twitter- any new information.

Listened to both the KUOW Week in Review and their noon show as both talked about the strike (and charter schools, remember them?).

First, I actually like the people at Washington Policy Center as people but man, there is NOTHING they won't say to promote ed reform.  Paul Guppy was on the Week in Review and he had some whoppers:

- He said the strike was the "nuclear option."

- He says that Aviation High and the Tri-Cities Delta High may be improperly funded with state funds because they aren't overseen by an elected board (as charters are not).  I may be wrong but I thought both those had oversight by Superintendent Dorn; I'll ask his office.

- He echoed something a charter parent had tweeted to me which was that parents don't care how the money gets into the schools.  Well, I can only say that taxpayers do and frankly, I think that is the lens that the Supreme Court should be looking thru.

- He said there are charters in 41 other states and "no controversy" with them.  He said that as the 300th charter school failed in Florida and Ohio and Arizona are overrun with poorly-run charters. Unfortunately it was radio so I could not see if he made that statement with a straight face.

- Eric Barnett made the point that charters are limited and not every can access them (probably because they either are not in their region and/or there is not transportation to access them).  Guppy answer is that there should be no cap.

- He also said that the teachers at Pride Prep were "volunteers."  I think he meant they made the choice to be in a charter school but then again, anyone who applies for a teaching job is making a choice where they want to work.

- He also said - and I think very disrespectfully - that charter parents are "voluntarily engaged."  Well, the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Seattle PTAs pour into their buildings?  Also voluntary.  Just because a parent makes a choice about where to send their kid does not make them more involved in their child's school.

- On McCleary, he said that the Legislature had increased funding by 19% which he hastened to say "wasn't everything" but that the "Legislature made a big sacrifice" and that was the view of "a lot of lawmakers."  That "sacrifice" is our money, not the lawmakers.  Another reason why we need a total overhaul of state funding.

- Essex Porter said that the charter school parents were registering their kids as homeschoolers but I'm not exactly sure how that would work.

According to OSPI:
RCW 28A.200.011(1) states that each person whose child is receiving home-based instruction under RCW 28A.225.010(4) must file annually a signed declaration of intent that he or she is planning to cause his or her child to receive home-based instruction. The declaration is to be filed by September 15 of the school year or within two weeks of the beginning of any public school quarter, trimester, or semester with (1) the superintendent of the public school district within which the parent resides, or (2) the superintendent of a nonresident public school district that accepts the transfer, in which case, the student is considered a transfer student of the nonresident district. 

You'll note that phrase "home-based instruction."  What part of going to a charter school is home-based?  As well, tick-tock because if all the charter students want to try this route, they have until next Tuesday to get it done.  They are already three weeks in so that date is the final one.

Huge showing at "read-in" at Alki Beach today.


Anonymous said…
@ Melissa:

Summit is almost finished reregistering all its students in its two schools as attending Summit schools as a homeschool resource building. They seem confident it is legal and it probably is. They are handholding all families through this process because what family could figure out the paperwork on their own? The bureaucracy is opaque.

This is the model SPS Cascade Partnership uses. Further, Summit isn't using any public funds to do this. So if it works for the parents, it seems a short-term tactic that will work for Summit. Long-term, there are costs to running the schools, so a source of funding will need to be resolved before the next school year. Most nonprofits, even charter-friendly ones like Gates Foundation, don't want their $$$ grants to go to operating costs beyond a very short time.

Anonymous said…
Just heard that SPS has laid off all SAEOPS. That can't be good.
Anonymous said…
Cascade Parent Partnership is categorized as an "Alternative Learning Experience." Students are enrolled as public school students and must create a learning plan and be overseen by a certificated teacher. They are funded at maybe 90% of the normal rate, but they are state funded. Also, an ALE is offered by a school district, and I thought is was only K-8. Summit is now all of the sudden a homeschool resource center? With what school district is Summit associated? Seems fraudulent to me.


n said…
Melissa, I posed on the previous thread a hotlink to SEA bargaining updates. Would it be possible to post those on the blog somewhere. It seems people are getting more info from the SPS website and I think an alternative pov might be helpful. I can only hope that SEA is keeping them current.

Bargaining Updates
Anonymous said…
"nuclear option" hehe, good one. Then Tim Eyman is a "rogue nation".

Eric B said…
Lying through his teeth isn't new to Guppy, but the Aviation High one is a kind of obvious one. Aviation High is run by Highline School District, with oversight by their Board. I didn't check on the other one.

If that's too much calling someone out, I'll repost.
Anonymous said…
Are all Summit parents even qualified to provide home based instruction? You need to have either 45 college level quarter credit hours, or have taken a course in home-based instruction, or be deemed qualified by the superintendent of the local school district. If the instruction is supervised by a certificated person, they cannot oversee more than 30 students.


And did they really sign up for Summit so they could homeschool their children?

Is this all just a rumor? It just seems...

-very fishy
Anonymous said…
Very fishy, why do you care? They're apparently not using any public funds to support the kids. Why is it any of your business?

Citizen Kane
Anonymous said…
If you truly homeschool, you understand the need to uphold the hard fought laws that allow it. When I sign the "Declaration of intent to provide home-based instruction," I am also declaring I meet the requirements to provide said instruction. I am not making a mockery of the laws and only claiming to homeschool.

It's still not clear how Summit is operating (we're still discussing rumors here). Are they claiming private school status, and calling themselves a homeschool resource center? They can't operate as Cascade Parent Partnership does, meaning an ALE, because they are not part of a public school district. Maybe they are looking for a back door means of using public funds by categorizing themselves as a homeschool resource center. If they are operating as a private school, why make parents claim they are homeschooling? Is it to place the full responsibility on the parents, not Summit? Would you want your child part of a school that played games with your child's education? Oh wait...

-very fishy
mollyspringer said…
Do note that Seattle Public Schools and other districts provide home school resource centers. The Seattle center recently took over the North Queen Anne Elementary School, which had been used for thirty years by Northwest Center for a child care center accommodating special needs and normally developing children. Too bad this facility had to move, despite their investment in special adaptations to the facility. We were so fortunate we could place our daughter there thirty years ago. I think she developed early on a sensitivity to different types of people. The district no doubt receives state compensation, but I don't know how it is calculated. Students often enroll there so they can take advantage of Running Start, which they could not enroll in without being in a public high school. Also, classes in subjects most parents are not prepared to teach are available there.
Anonymous said…
I don't think the school district admin really appreciates the animosity that they have created against them in the community over the last few years. They have spent years soiling their bed (to put it politely), and they don't have the goodwill needed to get the public on their side. People appreciate their teachers and believe the district admin is around in to screw things up and waste money.

I agree with other parents about how the district staff treats families. They are so patronizing that it's infuriating. I can't see myself going to another district meeting where they congratulate themselves on the great work they are doing and tell all the parents their ideas can't be done and are terrible.

I don't believe that the district admin is treating the teachers any better than they treat the parents. They need to get over themselves and completely change their behaviors. I hope that this strike will start that process.


Anonymous said…
Yes, several WA districts have homeschool resource centers. At Seattle's homeschool center, now called a "parent partnership program," parents need to be on site when their students attend classes. I doubt Summit would follow this model. The homeschool centers that operate as part of a district receive state funds because they are public schools. They also emphasize that the parent is the primary educator. I don't think this is actually true for Summit students. Also, Seattle's Cascade Parent Partnership only serves K-8. They no longer enroll high school students.

"Just heard that SPS has laid off all SAEOPS."

Not true according to SPS Communications.

Citizen Kane, you've got to be kidding, right? You don't sign up to be a "public" charter school, then take private funding (but refuse to say where it came from) and then whine for a Special Session to get funding and go back to being a "public" school? The AG isn't even sure.

If Summit wants to play fast and loose with the rules, then maybe an investigation about what they told parents to do and what role parents will have in their child's education might figure that all out. At the very least, we can see all the declarations filed. If they are not filed by the 15th, that parent cannot use the homeschooling option.
Anonymous said…
Aviation also started (over a decade ago now) at the Skills Center (OSC at the time). Skills Centers (10-15 or so in the state) are not charter schools and that wouldn't have got by a single judge (even one sympathetic to charters). Just a PR statement.

Go Aviation
Anonymous said…
No, Melissa, I'm not kidding. According to the Supreme Court, the charter schools are not public schools --- as you've tearfully shared with anyone willing to listen to you. What these parents choose to do and how these non-public schools choose to operate is now none of the public's business. You can't have it both ways.

If they're public, you as a member of the public get oversight and a say. If they're not public, you get nothing.

If they're not taking public funds, who's investigating them? You? Knock your socks off. Put your vengeful nature on display for all to see.

Citizen Kane
Anonymous said…
Citizen Kane,
If they are telling people to register as Home School parents then they definitely are using public funds. I'm paying for it. I want to know what going on!
Be Honest
Anonymous said…
@Be Honest, home-based instruction receives no public funds. Period. If some of the students utilize a homeschool resource center of a school district, the district may claim that instruction for public funds. If the "charter" schools do not claim state apportionment, there are ZERO public funds supporting them. Period. You're paying for nothing and, therefore, have no say.

Citizen Kane
Anonymous said…
According to the Seattle PI, Summit is going "the homeschooling route."


Seattle's homeschooling form has a check box stating "the home-based instruction will be supervised by a person certificated in the State of Washington pursuant to Chapter 28A.410 RCW." Based on my read of the RCW, if they are going the homeschool route, a certified Summit teacher would supervise instruction. They cannot supervise more than 30 students each, and must be certified in WA State.

-googled it
seattle citizen said…
Right, Citizen Kane - Why would they go the "homeschool" route if they wanted to be considered private schools? These "non-public" private schools WANT to keep getting public support, or at least keep the idea of the being public in play. Note how all the call them suddenly is "public charter schools", as if continuing to stick that "public" in front makes it so.
seattle citizen said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
I do have a say if they don't all apply in a timely manner. They cannot get services from OSPI (and they would) if they are not enrolled in time. Sorry Citizen Kane.

I am just saying it is somewhat odd to say they are "public" schools and then they don't have to say where the money comes to fund them. So many questions. And the Gov? Not a priority for him.

And cool your jets - vengeful? Not me.

(I didn't cry to a single person. I cried alone when I heard the news of the reversal. And my reasons for crying are deeply personal.)
Anonymous said…
What 'services from OSPI' are you talking about? OSPI doesn't serve students directly.

And why, again, do you get a say? Apply for what? Homeschooling? If they don't apply by Sept. 15, are you going to call a truant officer? The police? Again, why is it your business? If they're not public schools --- meaning they're not receiving public funds --- why do you care and why do you think you have a say?

Citizen Kane
CK, you need to calm down.

Wait for my charter threads, all will be explained.
Anonymous said…
Registering everyone as receiving home-based instruction is a solution to what problem again? I'm not seeing it. It doesn't give them funding. Doesn't link them to a public school. If they have private funding to carry on, why do they want to be considered more of a homeschool resource center than a school? It's puzzling.

Unchartered Territory
Anonymous said…
Wow. The Seattle Times let an actual teacher give his perspective about the strike. It only took the full work week to do so!

I want to settle the contract, but damn, I also would love to see the Tuesday Support Teachers march. The Times reporters and JSCEE administrators would be standing their with jaws dropped because yes, they're just that clueless about where public sentiment lies.

You go teachers!

seattle citizen said…
CK, if they try to link themselves to the state's homeschooling requirements (which they are, by suiting forms) then they have to meet the parameters of that system. State equals is: we the citizens can be concerned about if they are abusing a public system.
If they were private, they wouldn't need to conform to state regs. Trying to use the state system puts them in the spotlight for accountability.
Kinda the whole charter issue in a nutshell - charters are private but want to be public, but public without any of the rules and regs the rest of us have to follow. But that's not how it works. Rules and regs, like them or not, define operation in the publuc sphere.
"Officer, I have my own way driving, so I don't need your regs (or ticket), but thanks for the road, the car, and the gas!"
Anonymous said…
Sierra operates several home school charters in CA. What's odd about the WA Sierra school is that it didn't start out with a home school focus. It wasn't marketed to home school families like their CA charter school counterparts. It sounds as if it's being forced on parents. Very backwards. It feels like some kind of bait and switch.

-googled it
Lynn said…
Summit isn't trying to solve a funding problem - they're trying to avoid a truancy problem. Students over the age of seven in this state are required to attend a public school or an approved private school or receive home-based instruction. Summit isn't a public school and hasn't requested approval from OSPI as a private school (they would never do that) and their students are therefore truant (or will be next Tuesday.) I don't think they can get away with what they're doing. Home-based instruction by definition has to be provided by a qualified parent. If a parent does not have 45 college credits, they can choose to be supervised by a certified teacher. The instruction still has to be provided by the parent.

This is nothing like Cascade Parent Partnership. CPP is a public school. Students can enroll full time or part time. If they choose part time enrollment, their parent or guardian must file a declaration of intent to homeschool for the remainder of the required subjects.

And before you ask why I care Citizen Kane, I care because parents in this state are required by law to ensure that their children receive an education. There are minimum standards that must be met. Summit has not met those standards.

Here are the state's guidelines on home-based instructions:
Anonymous said…
They are handholding all families through this process because what family could figure out the paperwork on their own? The bureaucracy is opaque.

The laws on homeschooling are actually rather straightforward, and it couldn't be easier to file the Declaration of Intent - it's much easier than the enrollment process with Seattle Public Schools. You fill out the form with your child's name, sign it and date it, and you're done. You then take on the responsibility of providing an appropriate education - that's the hard part. In order to show progress, parents need to ensure their children take a standardized test each year, or get evaluated by a certificated person, but that's the extent of the paper trail needed. No pesky paperwork on vaccination history, etc.

I think Lynn is on to something. Because WA Sierra is neither a public school nor a private school, students need to have home-based education status to meet attendance laws. If Sierra closes shop mid-year, families are on their own. They could try enrolling in a public school (or an online K12 provider, through a WA public school). Otherwise, they have to actually provide home-based instruction. I wonder if Sierra parents truly understand what responsibility they have assumed. Without school status, Sierra really has no obligation one way or another. If students are chronically truant, or don't do the work, that's the parent's problem.

Anonymous said…
And one more thought - homeschool parents can direct their children's education and provide instruction by enrolling their children with a private online provider (for a fee, of course). They are still providing for the instruction of their children even if they don't directly instruct their children. I think that is how Sierra can "get away with it," so to speak. There is still the issue of the parents needing to be qualified in some way, but since it is the parents signing the forms, not Sierra, it's really not Sierra's concern. The State keeps records on the number of those homeschooling in each district, but I'm not sure what authority the State has when it comes to checking up on families.

TechyMom said…
I *think* private schools have to be accredited as private schools. At least all the ones I've been involved with are (admissions this year, attended 3 in CA when I was a kid). That may be what they're trying to work around. There aren't any requirements like that for groups of parents co-homeschooling.
Lynn said…

Yes, private schools have to be approved by OSPI.
Anonymous said…
If private schools and public schools have to be approved by OSPI, the charter schools that are open are already are approved, right?

If not, charter schools are a big illegitimate joke.

Plus, thorough financial transparency, for all salaries and contracts, if they ever are to receive public funds.

Lynn said…
No - they are not approved. There is a process for that (of course) and forms to complete and they have not done this. (Because obviously it looks very bad for a charter school anywhere to accept the private school label - their corporate overlords won't allow that.)
When kids go to Summit Sierra or the Willow School or Excel Charter School on Monday morning, they are not (under the law) attending school. On Tuesday they'll be truant.
Truant unless they have sent in their homeschooling declaration. It would seem BS to me if all they are doing is turning in the declaration and yet just sending them to a charter. That's not homeschooling.

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