Monday, November 06, 2017

Upcoming Seattle Schools Committee Meetings

Update: Director Geary has a regular Tuesday morning coffee at Zoka behind U Village from 8-9:30 am.

end of update

There is a bevy of School Board committee meetings this week; quite unusual to have so many in one week.

Sadly, there are no community meetings with Board members next Saturday so your opportunity to talk to a Board member face-to-face is nil (unless you go to a committee meeting early and buttonhole one of them).

Audit and Finance, 4:30-6:30 pm Agenda (I have requested the documentation).

There are several items of interest.  
City of Seattle Families & Education Levy Funding for Seattle Public Schools for Middle School Out of School Program Transportation, Northgate Elementary Transportation and Middle School Athletics (Berge) 

I had no idea that the Families and Ed levy was paying for transportation at all or middle school athletics.  This is troubling because it appears to mean the district is farming out more and more costs - that should be General Education spending - to levy dollars.  So what happens when we have Jenny Durkan as mayor?  She says she would take some dollars from the F&E levy for her new community college for all program.  What if the next F&E levy allows charter schools to have dollars?  What then?  

Another interesting topic that we have discussed here (and the district/Board seemingly have a blind eye to especially around their so-called equity tool):
2. PTA vs. Equity Funding (Berge)

As well, there is this:

3. Program Summaries (Berge) 
 Berge is the head of Budget; will she be talking about program costs?

Curriculum and Instruction, 4:30-6:30 pm Agenda (I have requested the documentation).

BTA IV: Approve Phase 1 purchase of Classroom Technology to support Teaching and Learning

BTA IV: Purchase of new computers for certificated staff (Krull/Caldwell) 
The district wants to purchase the Naviance software system for high school college/career counseling work plus all this? I can hardly wait to see the final costs for all of it.

Formula for Success
Superintendent SMART Goal 2, Eliminating Opportunity Gaps (Jones) 

This work is on-going but very quietly. I'll have a separate thread on this because while the African American Male Advisory Committee presented their recommendations to the Superintendent, I'm not sure the Superintendent can fund all the work (a couple of items are big ticket like having a person to oversee the work at JSCEE who only reports to the Superintendent).

Here's a link to a story about the Eliminating Opportunity Gaps Institute held at Sealth High recently. They pronounce it a "success" but on what basis? Attendance? A little hard to say what outcomes will be. 

Also on the agenda:

Advanced Learning Update (Jessee)
Math Adoption Update (Box) 
Executive Committee meeting of the Whole, 4:15-5:30 pm - no agenda yet available. I suspect this is to talk about the RFP for a new superintendent.  Could be an early look at what the Board believes is the right set of qualifications and qualities for a new sup.

Work Session, District Scorecard and Operations Data Dashboard; Board Evaluation, 5:30PM to 7:30PM, no agenda yet available.

Regular Executive Committee meeting, 8:30-10:30 am, no agenda yet available.

BEX Oversight Committee meeting, 8:30-10-30 am, no agenda yet available.

Also to note, next Tuesday the 14th, Superintendent Nyland will give his State of the District speech at West Seattle High School starting at 5 pm.  The Board will be at that one so you could show up and try to speak to them then on issues of high importance like the assignment plan for next year or boundaries.


Anonymous said...

I'm puzzled that you are surprised by F&E dollars going to transportation and middle school athletics - I think those have been among the major uses of F&E dollars since the beginning? Back in the 90s, one of the selling points of the levy was that by funding afterschool programs for all middle school students (including transportation), the city could cut down on the roaming groups of bored 13-year-olds wandering the city between 2:15 and suppertime. Many of those afterschool programs are athletic practice times. Northgate Elementary is a very high-poverty school and I think the F&E transportation dollars there are specifically to allow all students to participate in before-and-after-school intervention programs focused on closing the achievement gap. The district only funds transportation for students to attend during the regular teaching hours of schools, so transportation for before- or after-school programs has to get funding somewhere else.

Or am I off base, and there is something else about it that surprised you?


Doozie said...

The city is getting ready to ask voters for a big increase to fund the Family and Education levy. The city wants to increase access to pre-k and Durkan wants free college tuition. Presently, the city is serving approximately 1600 prek students for a cost of $54M. Let's put this number into perspective...the costs of funding a comprehensive high school with 1900 students per year is approximately $10M.

The city will ask the poor of this city to fund more education and the cost of living in Seattle is becoming prohibitive.

Expect the next ask to be a DOOZIE!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the Family & Education Levy $$ might help charter schools? And how might we advocate that it not support anything related to charter schools?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, naturally, it would helpful to have the documentation so we know what is being discussed. Yes, I know about the after-school transportation and that's great but I'm not sure that's what the Northgate Elementary item is about. I await the documents.

As has been pointed out on the campaign trail, the City is likely to combine the F&E levy and the Pre-K levy, both on the Nov. 2018 ballot. And yes, that ask will be huge.

Then, in Feb. 2019, the district will have its two levies - Operations and Capital (BEX V). Another huge ask and I doubt the Operations levy will be much smaller due to the Legislature not putting enough money into McCleary.

It would be great if the City and the District would sit down and strategize on how best to sell these levies.

How could the F&E help charter schools? Give them money for the same reasons they give to Seattle Schools - to help underserved kids. I think after whoever wins for mayor, then there should be a campaign to let the City Council and the new mayor know that Seattle didn't vote for charters and it will hurt Seattle Schools if the money is spread out even more.

Anonymous said...

I'm voting no no no no, enough is enough. Wait until Boeing starts it's pull out of all business support units out of WA. It's going to be a major impact on every single government funded program.

Tax exhaustion

Anonymous said...

Boeing pays no taxes in WA. So what exactly does your no vote accomplish other than defunding schools even worse than before?

Come On

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