Nyland Speaks Out About Seattle Schools' Deficit

Update: I note that the Times had this up on their front page webpage for just a couple of hours before it disappeared into their Op-Eds links. Hmm.

end of update

The op-ed in the Seattle Times is like many adminstrative missives; kind of bland, kind of vague and without much real strength behind it.
Next school year, Seattle Public Schools projects a $74 million shortfall. The state is responsible for virtually all of that shortfall. Thirty million dollars of the projected deficit is from the state’s premature reduction of our local levy; the state is taking away our ability to use voter-approved local taxes while at the same time not fully funding education. 
Another $41 million represents the difference between what the state provides for compensation, class-size reduction and increased graduation requirements and the true cost. The remainder, about $3 million, is associated with opening and providing services to new schools, a necessary action to address our increasing enrollment.
That's a poignant picture except that we all know that $41M in "compensation" included COLAs for virtually every single employee in the district.

We all know that compensation was a raise for the Superintendent and a COLA for the Superintendent.  He left that out of the op-ed.

He doesn't mention that there are 200 people making more than $100K per year in the district.  He doesn't mention that the district could save $1M just by eliminating the Executive Directors and their direct supervisor.

What is equally troubling is that he doesn't mention that there are other districts that are facing the levy cliff.  You know, that other districts are also in trouble.

He doesn't say the Governor should be calling a special session immediately for the levy cliff to be solved.

I'm not sure what this op-ed was supposed to do but maybe it was just on the Superintendent's end of the year checklist.

It's not going to move anyone to action.


Anonymous said…
To be fair, I recall another sad letter from Dr. Nyland basically saying the same a month or two ago. Agree, this sounds like and EOY checklist letter, or perhaps a shot at the Legislature before they gather. But he continues to lay it in the laps of others, rather than proposing how the District can manage themselves.

WS Dad.
Revisionist History said…
Clearly, WS dad has not been attending the budget meetings.

We're COLA increases part of the strike/settlement agreement?

The problem is a lot bigger than Nyland! The district spends $21m on ELL services and the state provides $6M for these services. The state only pays 75 percent of teacher salaries. Nyland was correct to point out unfunded state mandates.
Revisionist History said…
According to Friday's memo, last December, the district spent $800K(!!) on utilities. I would like to know the amount the district spends on utilities. If one were to assume the district spends $800k per month on utilities x 10 months would indicate the district spends $8m per year on utilities. To the best of my knowledge, the state has not changed their funding formula to reflect increasing costs of utilities.

In my mind, it would be best to focus on funding formulas which reflects the needs of students (ELL) etc. , teacher compensation, construction costs and increasing utility costs.

Nyland will be joining with 35 other superintendents around the state. We should be hearing more from this delegation .

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