Kids Not Cuts Picks Up Speed

 The Seattle Times has two stories on the staff cuts at more than 25 Seattle Schools.

One is Danny Westneat's column whose headline made me smile, "Outraged Seattle Public Schools parents, pace yourselves."  Sigh. He's right.  (BUT I do believe we ARE hitting a tipping point and it is to the parent side. Sadly, there will be more pain before healing but I believe the day of reckoning is coming and parents are going to (mostly) win this one.

His 10-grade kid is in a Spanish class with no teacher, just subs.  Our district can't even hire a Spanish teacher (not exactly the hardest language to land).

For the win:

This time it was that enrollment came in 675 students below projections. So now with less revenue the district says it needs to cut costs.

Yet in this year’s Seattle schools budget, the total devoted to central staff administrators soared 16 percent. The superintendent’s office: up 16.4 percent. The public-information office: up 25 percent. Meanwhile the budget for teachers is up 8.4 percent, while enrollment — the number of actual customers — is up only 1 percent.

I’d say if they need to cut costs, it’s right under their noses.
(I confess to some confusion.  The number I see bandied about is 1,000 kids counted.  The Super said they were 411 up from last year but that means they are under their count by....589.  I'm confused as usual.)

The other article was about the Half-Baked Bake Sale yesterday.

Earlier Tuesday, a newly formed group called Teacher Retention Advocate Parents — T.R.A.P — held a “half-baked sale” on the lawn of Seattle Public Schools headquarters to protest the reassignments. Parents sold items like “packed-class pralines” from a table with a sign that read “How many cookies do we need to sell to raise $90,000?”

The purpose of the sale was to “highlight the absurdity of funding basic education with carwashes and bake sales,” said Carolyn Leith, whose two children attend Olympic View Elementary School and Jane Addams Middle, both of which are slated to lose staff.  

It’s hard to watch other schools raise enough money to keep their teachers, Murphy said.
“You want to be happy for them, but you’re not,” she said. “It just creates so much division. Now my kids are too poor for a public education?”


Anonymous said…
The comment from the parent who asked if her kid is too poor for public school really hit things home for me. And I really liked Danny's column today.

North End Parent

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