Headline of the Day: "Evergreen Public Schools to pay for school supplies"

I kind of laughed.  Because it may not surprise any parent in any district that many districts don't pay for basic supplies and expect parents to foot that bill but many citizens would not know this.

Really, it's good news.  From The Columbian:
Instead of requiring families of elementary students to buy a long list of school supplies at the beginning of the school year, the district will foot the bill. The district will spend about $275,000 on school supplies for all 11,000 preschool through fifth-grade students. That’s $25 per student that parents won’t have to fork out at the beginning of the school year. 
I note that they are covering supplies for pre-k kids.  Interesting but I hope Seattle doesn't think that SPS will be footing the bill for their supplies any time soon.  
Another change for Evergreen district students is that middle and high school students will not have to pay most sports, performing arts and class fees. A high school student who plays one sport and participates in a performing arts program pays about $100 per year. Other activities have similar fees that will be waived.
Over the past seven years, Evergreen has funded all-day kindergarten from local levy dollars, said Gail Spolar, district spokeswoman. But now the state is reimbursing the district for most of that expense.

“We’ll able to redeploy local levy dollars toward poverty initiatives like this,” Spolar said.

Ah, and then we circle back to the real issue that is McCleary. Because districts were having to pay to provide full-day kindergarten, they didn't have resources for supplies.

My impression for SPS is that they do provide a lower cost to F/RL students for sports and class fees.  Parents?

Additionally, as the district moves to a 1-to-1 ratio of technology devices for students in grades 6 through 12, fewer school supplies will be needed, Spolar said.

Maybe on the supply side for consumables, but technology upkeep ain't cheap.   


Anonymous said…
Yes, because we buy them all computers we won't need as many of those expensive pencils. Did Gates help with this magical budgeting?
Anonymous said…
SPS doesn't pay for anything, taxpayers do.

PTA boycott
Lynn said…
Interesting that Evergreen was not charging families for full day K. What were we spending our levy dollars on that Evergreen didn't have?
Anonymous said…
Middle management? Consultants?
Anonymous said…
We had to spend way more than $25 last fall (for supplies for one kid's list).
Another opinion said…

Seattle Public Schools $417,847,041
Tacoma School District $226,893,012
Kent School District $213,870,321
Spokane School District $206,389,778
Evergreen School District (Clark) $171,450,637
Lake Washington School District $170,190,771
Vancouver School District $153,761,550
Federal Way School District $149,701,458
Edmonds School District $148,264,301
Everett School District $143,456,413

Complete list of state school districts Seems like a lot of highly paid middle managers to me. But I'm no analyst. I absolutely think technology is a bottomless pit. I'm all for starting tech at third grade. I wouldn't wait til middle or high school because too many kids fall behind. But honestly, K-2 or K-3 can do without tech. If we had all the money we needed, ok. But we don't and priorities have to be set.

Another opinion
Eric M said…
To be clear, this year I spent (again) about 2,000 dollars of my own money to purchase supplies for my SPS classroom. Tape, batteries, string, screws, etc. It adds up.

My actual allocated budget for running 5 1/2 college prep science elective classes (because that's what I had, 34 students per class, 4 over contract, equals another 1/2 class) was $ 0.00.

That's the reality on the ground.
Anonymous said…
We pay a science fee at Hale (it is voluntary and tax deductible) to help pay for supplies. I usually pay more than the requested amount, to help cover a kid who can't pay. Teachers should not be expected to pay this out of their own pockets.

As a Waldorf parent, I paid to avoid tech and screens in the early grades. My kids did not use computers, watch TV, etc. until 6th grade and they didn't use any tech in school until 8th grade. My kids are amazingly tech savvy and had no issues picking it up later. I don't think it hurts kids to wait on the tech, though some may need it for learning issues.

Lynn said…
That's the most attractive thing about Waldorf in my opinion. My child has spent very little time using technology in SPS 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. They each typed one of their poems for publication in a class book this year and have taken the MAP test in the computer lab. The poor teacher who tried to teach two grade levels of math using math in focus last year used iPads in math centers - but she was desperate.
I'll note that many Silicon Valley parents send their kids to Walkdorf schools. This has been widely reported.
Anonymous said…

I like that about Waldorf schools too. Unfortunately our experience in SPS is that computer use increases in 3rd grade when kids have to learn to type to take SBAC and Amplify type of tests. Our child got comuter lab time every week to type. In 4th grade our experience is that computer use increases even more than 3rd grade. More of the work is expected to be typed up during class and kids have to use the computer to do "research" also during class time . My impression is that all this class time used for typing and "research" means that there is less time for actual instruction.

NH, ding, ding, ding. And there's where that "personalized learning" is coming in.

I'm going to write a two-part series on this but this thing is bearing down like a freight train on public education and means HUGE bucks. So, of course, Gates loves it and so do ed reformers.
checking in said…
I want to chime in because losing instructional time is key. Writing is a good example: it needs to be taught. Too many teachers are providing writing time on computers or other but are not allotted enough time to actually teach it. It's back to the "too much on our plates" issue. And tech isn't just a time killer, it is a teacher-killer as well. It takes up serious planning time, monitoring time, and support time. I've never had a year where my tech worked all year satisfactorily. And our principal has given up our two-day a week techie and put the onus back on teachers to keep their tech alive and well. Impossible!

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