Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tuesday Open Thread

Blog note: I will be taking a bit of a hiatus and so the blog will go into quiet mode.

Boy, do I like this: one soccer ref for school-aged kids has had enough and has a Facebook page where he logs terrible/outrageous behavior by parents at games.  From the NY Times:

The videos were posted on a Facebook page, Offside, created in frustration by an Oklahoma youth soccer referee, Brian Barlow, who offers a $100 bounty for each clip in order to shame the rising tide of unruly parents and spectators at youth sports events.

“I do it to hold people accountable — to identify and call out the small percentage of parents who nonetheless create a toxic environment at youth sports,” Barlow, 44, said. “It’s a very visual deterrent, and not just to the person caught on video but to others who ask themselves: Do I look like that jerk?”
Will districts ever learn to stop supporting staff with issues they know about?  Seattle has its problem at Muir and now word comes via the Tri-City Herald that Prosser SD in the Tri-Cities knew there was a teacher who was "grooming kids" and yet they kept him and then helped  him get a job in a nearby district, Granger.
And while in Granger, Stephen J. Castilleja’s troubling behavior went unchecked — and one of his students ended up in explicit video filmed in a classroom, it says.

He twice was written up — once for “poor judgment” while supervising students on a ski trip, and another time for what the then-superintendent later characterized as “grooming behavior.”

Read more here: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/crime/article215239110.html#storylink=cpy
Both districts are part of a civil lawsuit filed by the parents of the child in the video.

Based on these kinds of stories (as well as what is happening in Washington, D.C.), I'm going out on a limb early and calling the word of the year to be complicit.

Read more here: https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/crime/article215239110.html#storylink=cpy

Still waiting for the decision from the Washington State Supreme Court on the current charter school law.  As you may recall, after the first law (passed by initiative) was overturned by the Court in 2015 just before Labor Day, a new bill was created and passed by the Legislature in 2016.  A lawsuit was filed against that law with the plaintiffs saying that the new law still has flaws. It's now in the Court's hands now as the Court heard oral arguments in May.

The last time the law went to the Court, it took over a year to get a decision.  But McCleary has been cleared up and the justices have already been thru this dance before.  My take is that they certainly won't- not after the wailing last time - give the decision right as school is starting.  So either they will come out in August with a ruling or maybe not until next year.  My spidey sense tells me they will uphold the law just as they decided the State had done enough on McCleary.

Advice from WAPTSA on possible work stoppages.
"It is the position of PTA that disruption to the educational system in the form of work stoppages and/or strikes is often detrimental to the best interest of the children and families affected by those actions." 
Charter school supporter on the LAUSD Board, Ref Rodriguez, finally - after a year of stonewalling - stepped down from the Board as he took a plea of guilty to felony charges of money laundering.  He still has a financial scandal to answer for that is separate from these charges.  From the LA Times:
 Rodriguez gave up his seat the same morning he appeared in court to announce a plea deal with prosecutors, who had brought felony counts against him for political money laundering during his 2015 election campaign. Under the deal, announced Monday, Rodriguez will plead guilty to one felony count of conspiracy and four misdemeanor charges of assumed name. He will also complete 60 days of community service and serve three years of probation.

Rodriguez was also set to accept a parallel deal with L.A. City Ethics Commission in which he and his co-defendant — cousin Elizabeth Melendrez — would admit to the political money laundering scheme in exchange for paying a reduced fine of $100,000.  

Rodriguez was one of four board members endorsed by the California Charter Schools Association. That bloc's lock on a majority on the seven-member board is now gone.
Their teachers union is calling for all votes that were 4-3 to be thrown out. Diane Ravitch adds this:
Superintendent Beutner, billionaire and former hedge fund manager, will now have to figure out how to work with a board that does not have a working majority until this issue is resolved.
Oh NOW people care about the effects of Common Core?  From Diane Ravitch:
But, lo, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute discovered a huge difference that everyone but TBF attributes to Common Core. Teachers are dropping classic literature. For one thing, the CORE prioritizes non-fiction Over fiction. For another, students are expected to do close reading, which prepares them for the snippets of text on a standardized test. 

TBF says “teachers should take another look at their ELA curriculum to make sure they aren’t overlooking classic works of literature. Although it’s encouraging that ELA teachers are assigning more informational texts and literary nonfiction, as the CCSS expect, it’s concerning that they seem to be doing so at the expense of “classic works of literature.””

TBF received millions of dollars from the Gates Foundation to advocate for the adoption of the Common Core, even in states where the English curriculum was far superior to the Common Core, with Massachusetts as the prime example. 

They are hardly in a position now to disown the consequences of the Core, which many English teachers predicted.
I note from the district's calendar that the Board is having a closed session on August 8th on "Bargaining."

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Signing your child up for the ACT/SAT this school year? They may be able to skip the essay portion (hooray! time and $ saved!). According to Washington Post, more and more colleges are dropping the essay requirement, with Stanford and Princeton the latest Ivies to announce the change. Brown and the University of California system are still holding out. As an alternative, colleges may ask students to submit graded essays (take note students - those writing assignments may double for admission essays).

"Pencils down: Major colleges stop requiring essay test for admission" 7/10/18

another reader

Anonymous said...

How many students in Seattle do you think are hoping or planning to attend an Ivy? This is so far from relevant to any student we need to be concerned about that it’s ridiculous.


Safety Please said...

Alleged rape at Ballard high school:


Anonymous said...

One of the reasons they are dropping the essay: it can create a cost barrier for students. It's an equity thing. UW does not require it, but UC system schools do. If most of the Ivies are dropping it, then perhaps more schools will follow suit, if they haven't already. Even SPS can save $ by administering the school day SAT without essay, shifting $ to other more useful initiatives.


Michael Rice said...

Eyeroll writes: How many students in Seattle do you think are hoping or planning to attend an Ivy? This is so far from relevant to any student we need to be concerned about that it’s ridiculous.

I would guess that I will have somewhere between 20 and 50 students this year who will apply to one of the Ivy League schools or Stanford. I fully realize that not all students in Seattle do this, but there are a certain number who do.

Anonymous said...

"Demonte Rigney was a stand-out football player for Ballard High School. On Tuesday, he was charged with sexually assaulting a female student during class last spring."
Ballard High student charged with on-campus rape.

--Not again

Melissa Westbrook said...

Eye roll, bit of low expectations there.

On that alleged rape, apparently a Ballard teacher showed up at the court hearing in support of the football player. I note that the victim says they went into a gender neutral bathroom and that’s where the assault took place.

Jet City mom said...

Garfield is teaching athletes how to interact w women.


It’s a shame it is needed, but it is long overdue.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Jet City, maybe they need to do that with all district football teams.

Anonymous said...

As a Ballard parent, I would like to know which teacher went to court to speak in support of the alleged rapist.

My student knows nothing about this incident and I don't believe that Mr. Wynkoop has addressed this with students or teachers.

As far as those bathrooms, they are really stupid and frankly, gross. They are former single sex bathrooms so one has two stalls and one has a stall and a urinal. So you get to share with other people since they have no lock and the stalls have those short walls. A man could be in there with a little girl or a little boy or whatever.

They are totally inappropriate for public use.

I understand they don't want locking bathrooms because kids will be kids, but the current set-up is insane and created this rape opportunity.

Does the administration at Ballard have the ability to search the internet to find how to properly serve the students who desire privacy in bathrooms, transgender or otherwise?

No one shows up for the girl at court but some teacher shows up for the alleged rapist.

Wynkoop needs to get his sports obsession under control and make Ballard safe for all the kids he is responsible for protecting.

The teeth of an angry beaver should not be discounted.

Castor canadensis

Anonymous said...

It's not just football teams that need it, and it sounds like athletes from other Garfield sports are indeed being exposed to it. (A wrestler is quoted in the story.)

FYI, it's a coach training program, and the coaches then incorporate their lessons into their work with the athletes. As I see it, it's a "two-fer", since many coaches could benefit from some additional perspective re: how to think/talk about women. I would absolutely support all SPS male coaches participating in this (or a similar evidence-based program). I'd contribute for a coach education fund, if need be.

FYI, UW football coach Chris Petersen has been a strong proponent of this type of thing, although is sounds like he uses a different program. Here's a recent
article. It might be nice to get coaches who are using different programs to come together and put on an info session for other schools/coaches to help them see which sounds best.

all types

Anonymous said...

I meant principal Wynkoop has not addressed this with students or parents. Who knows if he told all the teachers or they just found out about it as well.

Castor canadensis

Anonymous said...

The incident could have easily happened in any bathroom. The fact that it is a gender neutral bathroom is not relevant.


Anonymous said...

The alleged sexual assault occurred March 27. It's just now being reported in the media b/c the perpetrator currently faces criminal charges.

What steps did the school administration take when it learned of the incident in March?

According to the KIRO report, "Days after the alleged incident, [the female student's] attorney Julie Kays filed a Sexual Assault Protection Order that ultimately resulted in [alleged perpetrator] Rigney attending a different school until he graduated."

Did the female student's attorney have to obtain a protection order b/c the school could not keep the student safe? Did the school offer the student any accommodations? Did the student suffer any retaliation? If so, what did the school do about it?

--Not again

Safety Please said...

The alleged incident took place in March. I don't understand the delay in reporting, either.

My student tells me that there was a poorly advertised assembly to discuss sexual assault and students would have to leave class to attend.

Stalls should be floor to ceiling. Ballard's gender neutral bathroom is not.

I don't recall an e-mail regarding this issue.

Anonymous said...

There has been no communication from admin to the teachers about this incident. -TeacherMom

Anonymous said...

Clarification, please: am I to understand that high school bathroom stalls do not lock? Is this a standard at all schools?


Anonymous said...

Having a gender neutral bathroom creates a situation where assaults are much more likely to happen. If it was a boys' or girls' bathroom, it is unlikely that this victim would have walked into the bathroom with him.

The gender neutral bathroom at Ingraham has 5-6 stalls, all with the flimsy locks and large door cracks typical of school bathroom stalls. It used to be the largest and most central girls' bathroom. If girls want privacy now, they have to go to smaller bathrooms further away.

Ingraham mom

Anonymous said...

@3AM eyeroll suggested, This is so far from relevant to any student we need to be concerned about that it’s ridiculous.

We should be concerned about the educational opportunities of ALL students. All students - whether high performing or low performing, high income or low income, or anywhere in between. Serving those with high needs does not mean denying or ignoring the educational needs of those working at or above grade level.

Generous scholarships are available for high achieving, low income students (many based on a combination of GPA and --standardized test scores--). Are you suggesting, @eyeroll, that these students should be of no concern to us? Where is the equity in that?

Here's one such organization offering scholarships:

Notice the names of represented colleges? Yale. Columbia. Johns Hopkins.

end rant

Anonymous said...

My friend was attacked in a women's bathroom at Golden Gardens. Thank God that the stall had a gap under the walls and door. That is how she escaped was under the wall. Gender neutral bathrooms are not more dangerous. The football player could have walked into a closet with the girl or a small classroom and the same thing could have happened.


Anonymous said...

Go to Ballard, HP, and look at the set-up. American stalls are gross and encourage voyeurism and sex. In Europe you get a full wall and door, they also have joint use bathrooms with a urinal and fully enclosed stall so both genders or kids can use one bathroom.

One lucky escape doesn't mean partial walls are better. Having multi-gender bathrooms with an open door to the outside would be safer.
See this article in Quartz:


or go to the fancy Starbucks on Pike, they have one big bathroom with sinks and mirror for everybody and private full length stalls.


Jet City mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jet City mom said...

Is the school district assigning students to schools outside their neighborhood?
I noticed that Mr Rigney lives in Delridge and I thought that must be a PITA to get to Ballard.

Anonymous said...

I believe if the school will admit you and has room, you can attend any school in the district. The caveat being you will sometimes be responsible for your own transportation.

Anonymous said...

Oops sorry for not signing the above post!


Michael Rice said...

Interesting new study from UVa as reported by the Washington Post.


Jet City mom said...

That’s good ram parent, it is hard to keep track sometimes.

So not a problem with over crowding at Ballard anymore?

Anonymous said...

There were no students living in the Chief Sealth or West Seattle High School attendance areas enrolled at Ballard last year. It’s possible this student has a parent in West Seattle and another in Ballard.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

From a security standpoint, the problem with gender neutral bathrooms is that both men and women can be in them. If I walk into a women's bathroom and see a man in there, I would leave. In a gender neutral bathroom, I would assume the man had a right to be there, and would therefore be more vulnerable to an attack, should that be the person's intention.

Anonymous said...

@ Michael Rice -There are some really terrific public schools better IMO than many private schools. I would also add that in addition to parental income which is the focus of this particular study ,other studies have shown variables such as parental educational level, class size, district resources/per pupil spending and teacher quality also affect student educational outcomes.
In Seattle we also have a huge district and per pupil funding is low. There are some really good public schools despite the district's size. IMO we cannot serve everyone optimally as the district is very diverse in terms of income and race, yet students attend their local schools which can be segregated as far as income & race.

The district tries to implement policies across the board for all schools that is not beneficial to all students. It hurts some students. Example, implementing an 8 period high school schedule across the board which has lots of drawbacks for kids who want or need to take running start or multiple AP classes. IMO if we were broken in at least 4 smaller districts, we could focus on creating the best learning environment for students attending their local schools. That's my opinion.

Anonymous said...

@PL, with Seattle's history of redlining and racial segregation, breaking into 4 smaller districts would just perpetuate inequality, poverty, and economic disadvantage. It would also raise admin costs.


Jet City mom said...

Why can’t they have a couple single stall bathrooms like other public buildings?
Like ADA bathrooms.

Totally self enclosed and lockable.

Anonymous said...

Seattle is not a large school district - it’s the 87th largest in the country. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_largest_school_districts_in_the_United_States_by_enrollment

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

Aren't schools mostly redesignating existing restrooms with a new sign on the door, not actually reconfiguring them? I'm assuming they are doing this on a school by school basis, not based on any district wide policy or guideline. Limited funds, limited space, limited oversight, etc.

ad hoc

Anonymous said...

As of Dec 26, 2015, Washington mandates that all sex-segregated facilities like bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, etc. are open to all people based on "gender identity and gender expression". There is no specific guidelines for either term, which allows anyone with bad intentions to be in any facility statewide.

This week I talked to a man who identified himself as gay and then told me that he is strongly opposed to this rule. He was at the UW gym and observed an older woman report that a naked male was in the women's locker room. When the staff told her that they couldn't do anything about that, it brought her to tears as she exclaimed "Where are my rights?"


Jet City mom said...

I would be pretty freaked out if there was a man in the locker room I must say.
It was bad enough today when a boy who was presumably with his mother, but was old enough to be hiding his eyes when he walked through.

Hope the poor kid isn’t traumatized for life!

Another View said...

Substitute teachers want health benefits.

Substitutes do not receive health benefits until they have worked 60 days. This is reasonable. Health benefits are incentives to keep teachers.

I am not likely willing to support health benefits for those that want to come and go as they please.

Jet City mom said...

We do not have enough substitutes.
My daughter had classes in the cafeteria, with one teacher supervising two classrooms.
Occasionally, ok. But a regular thing?

The priority should be classroom coverage and if teachers need benefits for them to work for Seattle, then give them benefits.

Anonymous said...

Here is the contract language with regard to substitute health benefits:

"After sixty (60) consecutive workdays in the same assignment certificated substitutes shall be eligible for medical and dental benefits. Coverage shall begin on the first of the following month if the eligibility begins between the 1st and 15th
of the month. If eligibility begins after the 15th of the month coverage shall begin on the first of the second full month thereafter. Eligibility shall be for a minimum of three (3) months beyond the last day in the assignment."

What this has meant, in practice, is that a substitute must be a "long-term" substitute with the same assignment for sixty days before they can receive benefits. As there aren't many teachers who are out for sixty consecutive days or more, there aren't many substitutes who are given the opportunity to receive benefits. In addition, if a substitute misses even one day during that sixty-day period--even due to illness--the clock starts over.

There is something truly appalling about a system that creates an incentive for teachers to work sick. Yet, I've seen substitutes put in that very position: work sick (and risk infecting others) or lose benefits.


Anonymous said...

Providing substitutes with expensive health benefits on day 1 regardless of future work schedules doesn't make sense to me, but requiring 60 consecutive days seems a bit too onerous. Maybe they should consider contract language that grants eligibility if they've worked at least 65% or 75% (?) of the school days during a 3-month period. A long-term sub could potentially attain eligibility after two months depending on the school schedule, even with a missed day, or they could meet it during the 1st-15th day portion of the third month. That way a sub who moves around and/or doesn't find work some days--but who is obviously using subbing as their primary day job--could potentially gain eligibility. Employers often provide benefits to part-time workers who work above a particular threshold, and that's essentially what this would be. The tricky thing would be all the administrative hassle tracking it all and enrolling, and dis-enrolling, and re-enrolling, (rinse, repeat...) people as they work more or fewer hours. Maybe that's why the bar was so high initially.

random idea

Anonymous said...

Again, my friend was attacked by a man in a woman's bathroom at Golden Gardens. He was in a stall with the door closed and attacked her when she was washing her hands. Gender neutral bathrooms are not more dangerous than single sex bathrooms.


Anonymous said...

@Fairmount Parent
Seattle is considered is a large district. In fact there was a WA bill introduced to break up larger districts such as Seattle. There are of course other variables at play as to whether a large district can serve all kids well.

Anonymous said...

@Fairmount Parent
Your data is Seattle's ranking amongst the 100 largest school districts in the country. The total number of school districts in the country is vastly larger. I believe the Seattle Public schools would be more responsive to the needs of students if the SPS district was divided into 4 equivalent districts. So each would be similar in size to Shoreline, which frankly, seems to operate without nearly as much drama and waffling as SPS.


Another View said...

There is a substitute shortage which is exactly why substitutes should commit to working at least 50% of the school year to receive health care benefits.

I agree with random idea. It would be foolish to give substitutes health care coverage beginning on day 1. Let the substitutes commit to SPS.

The levy cap is coming and the district must pass a levy. Let's not give away the farm

Anonymous said...

@ cynic, how would one go about dividing SPS into "4 equivalent districts"? Equivalent in size? In FRL percentages? In racial distribution? In languages spoken? Parental education? In tax base? In student achievement--K readiness, state test scores, graduation rates, other, some combo? In HC and/or SpEd percentages? There are all sorts of ways you could subdivide a district, but I have a hard time conceiving of a way that would create "4 equivalent districts."

And, if they actually were equivalent, each would have the full range of diversity of needs, because it would be less cost-effective to serve those whose needs are outside the norm. The most cost-effective way to split the district would be to break it down into groups that are NOT equivalent, but that's not gonna fly for obvious reasons. Specialized districts would also facilitate making districts "more responsive to the needs of students"--because it would be easier to provide a more narrow and uniform program, and because parents would be more aligned in what they wanted. But still, not gonna fly.

The reality is that larger districts should have a greater ability to address the needs of atypical students than smaller districts. It's an economy of scale issue. The fact that SPS sucks as it isn't necessarily an issue of size, but rather one of apparent mismanagement, lack of strong leadership, etc. In my opinion.

random idea

Anonymous said...

Another solution for the substitute shortage would be to remove the requirement that substitutes have a teaching degree, and instead only require they have a college degree. Thus subbing would be a way for kids just out of college to earn a paycheck while they figure out their long term plans. I know because this is what I did in Northern Virginia (a good school district) just out of college. And maybe it would inspire a few more folks to get a teaching degree.

Is this solution perfect? No. Is this better than leaving classrooms without a substitute because there are none to be found. Absolutely.


Anonymous said...

The split would be based on enrollment - the idea is to decrease the management challenges of the districts so that superintendents could concentrate more on families and students. The growth of the motley collection of highly paid assistant superintendents is an indication that SPS is too big to manage. Their jobs, as I have experienced, is to deflect families as much as possible. Their success in containing and, especially, deflecting family needs is commensurate with their internal job performance and success. This goes for their favorite principals as well. Those principals who advocate for their schools appear to be targeted for retribution. It suggests to me that the district management has become too autocratic. That's just my observation over the years. I agree that nothing will change for the better.


Anonymous said...

It’s absolutely unacceptable to have subs with less than adequate certification. As all special education parents know, the district purposely uses subs to avoid filling mandated special ed positions. Instead of hiring that IA in some kids iep, just slap up sub request. Maybe you get one, Maybe you don’t. And to add insult to injury,they often never bother to even hire anyone for special ed teacher jobs. Just subs when they can. That’s way cheaper to hire a sub, and cheapest of all if nobody shows up. In that case, they just use an IA.

Sped parent

Anonymous said...

I agree that a sub needs the right certification for special education. But in non- special ed classes, subbing is just about managing a classroom reasonably well. You don't need a certificate. A college degree and reasonable work experience should get you in the door, then a little observation to be sure you can manage a class. Let the high schools call who they want.

I have a conditional CTE certification and could be hired as a CTE teacher, but SPS will only let me sub in CTE classes. They would trust me as a full-time CTE teacher, but won't let me sub in other subjects. Meanwhile, I've been a long-term math sub in a Catholic high school, and have subbed all over in Catholic schools, who are fine with my BA and MA and conditional CTE certification.

No wonder SPS has a sub shortage. They are so worried about getting subs who are qualified ...to withstand the excruciating boredom of prodding kids to do their pre-assigned work.


Grouchy Parent said...

Subs are in the same boat as any temporary worker. It is very standard practice for temps who work for temp agencies to qualify for coverage effective first of month following 60 days of employment. In the United States, health insurance comes from having a job. Or being the spouse or dependent of someone with a job. That's why we need single payer, because people's need for health care exists for their whole lives regardless of whether they're working.

Anonymous said...

As a self-employed family, health insurance is bought by individuals too, just like house insurance or car insurance.


Anonymous said...

As a self employed family, are you making $19 an hour? At those pay rates you will never be able to afford health insurance especially if you are over 50. Go out to the exchange and look at the health insurance rates for people over 50. The plans are over $10,000 per year. Sure the kids can get insurance for 2000 but not the adults nearing Medicare age.

In the business world, contract workers are often paid way more than salaried ones. That is because they do not incur the high cost of full-time employees. This is not true for subs who are paid significantly less than full timers. So let’s just stop pretending like this is the business world. It is isn’t.

I agree with the previous poster said that the district will never spring for this expensive benefit. They could as an alternative make their health insurance available for purchase to all subs. Large organizations pay way less for healthcare than the cost on the exchange. This would cost the district nothing since the substitutes would be paying for it, and would still be a big benefit for substitutes. I also think it would be fair.


Anonymous said...

@NP- There are high poverty schools in Seattle that do not receive the federal funding they should because the overall district does not qualify. I heard this topic discussed in depth by a policy analyst who worked for OSP for many years. This debate (of breaking Seattle into smaller districts) had been going on for a very long time. One argument in favor (smaller districts) was that otherwise you get mediocrity for all. The admin expenses would not be higher with smaller districts as you would have much smaller staff.

Submatter said...

Health insurance for all...Except temporary employees!

By bargaining for health insurance for subs it sends a clear message that even “temporary employees” deserve benefits in all sectors,not just education.

A few things, there is a massive sub shortage in Seattle. Case in point, I became very sick on a Sunday evening last year with a fever. There was no way I could teach the next day. I called in for a sub at around 6pm. The job was eventually filled but my students had to be placed in other classrooms until around 9:00-9:30. This is not a great way to start your day as a student. By giving health insurance to guest teachers, we would most likely eliminate this problem of classrooms going uncovered.

I think the best way to approach health insurance is that each sub should accumulate a certain number of HOURS each week or month in order to qualify for coverage. Those that need coverage are going to keep working, therefore classroom teachers get their classrooms covered and hard working guest teachers get health insurance.

Also, I’ve heard that some principals will change a job number of a long term sub to disrupt the 60 day rule. So shady!


Anonymous said...

@insuranceforall, that’s essentially what many of us proposed/supported above—there should be some level of commitment required to get insurance eligibility, but the 60 continuous days rule may be too onerous.

Then again, if the sub shortage is really so bad, why NOT require 60 continuous days? Even if you can’t get a long-term gig that provides that, or even if a devious principal tries to thwart coverage by removing a day in the middle, wouldn’t it be easy enough to find a gig elsewhere on any given day? If a sub really wants health insurance, you’d think they’d be willing to accept any gig—even if a longer drive or in an indesired school. Many of us in the private sector accept sucky jobs for the healthcare benefits.

Random idea

Anonymous said...

The individual plans on the exchange are incredibly expensive. Even most bronze plans for people over 35 will cost about half of another mortgage, and then you have the crazy $6000 or $7000 deductibles with $12,000 out-of-pocket limits.

In truth, group plans through employers (and SPS) are not that much cheaper, but the full cost of insurance is hidden from most employees because employer contributions cover some or most of it (out of sight, out of mind, and that is probably intentional). However, group plans like SPS's plans offer significantly better coverage than do the individual plans on the market.

A good interim solution for subs might be to let them buy into the group plan with employer contributions increasing as you increase days worked. Maybe starting with 25% employer contribution before any days are worked. Then, within a 90-day period, SPS could increase its contribution toward the premium by another 25% for every 10 days you work up to the same contribution level full-time teachers get. I'm just brainstorming, but an arrangement like that might be workable, and it would help attract substitutes to the district. It would give subs access to health plans they might prefer over those on the exchange, it would incentivize taking more subbing jobs, it would attract subs from out of district, and it would lower those subs' costs for health insurance.

Alternatively, substitutes could be pooled into their own group policy that is cheaper than the full-time policy and maybe doesn't offer as many perks but still has superior coverage to the individual plans on the exchange.


Anonymous said...

Yo, Random Idea,
>>> if the sub shortage is really so bad, then why not require 60 contiguous days

Uhhh, It’s not indentured servitude! A sub IA is around 19 per hour, teachers around 23. Put that into perspective, the Brown Bear car wash is paying 17 an hour with full benefits. Currently there is a 10 day minimum to be continued in employment for the next year. And with that they can’t even keep people. If they had a 60 day minimum there would be zero subs I promise you.


Former Souper said...

Someone on Soup for Teachers posted Renton's school supply list. Renton receives $1000 per student for supplies. The teachers took these dollars.

As teacher unions negotiate, they should remember that they took MSOC dollars for salaries and deduct those dollars from their enormous ask. It will never happen.

The state will put dollars in special education. It is only a matter of time before teachers take special education dollars.

If you need supplies or support for your special education student, you are out of luck.

Anorhwe View said...

Let subs commit to a part time substitute position for health benefits. They need to make a commitment to the district in exchange for benefits.

Anonymous said...

"The teachers took these dollars."

For the love of God! More trashing of teachers in order
to influence the SEA/SPS negoatiations, FS?

Teachers are not thieves and it is not "a matter of time" that they
will be stealing from the coffers of special education students.

Even if you disagree with the outcome of contract negotiations, your continual
targeting of teachers betrays obvious animus and untruths that should not go unchallenged.


Anonymous said...

Yo, Sub.

I'm not advocating indentured servitude (obviously, if you read my earlier posts, or even the first paragraph of the most recent one), but was simply going back to thinking about the current, already existing, contract language, which, according to a previous poster, says "after sixty (60) consecutive workdays in the same assignment certificated substitutes shall be eligible for medical and dental benefits." The 60 hrs thing wasn't my idea. Are you saying it's actually 10--that a sub only needs to work 10 days a year to get full benefits? If that's the case, no wonder SPS has financial problems...but then I'm mystified as to why there's a sub shortage.

random idea

Former Souper said...

Is SEA willing to deduct MSOC dollars from this year's ask?

Anonymous said...

In order to get rehired as a sub, the employee must have completed 10 days total as a sub in the previous year. There are no benefits and the pay is exceedingly low. If the district wanted more subs, more reliable subs, then it would hire them as Full time or part time employees. It would farm them out where there was a need. As a regular employee I believe part time of 50% or more get health benefits at a prorated cost to the employee for everyone hired as an the fte Currently subs are almost impossible to find in high poverty schools. Subs simply don’t take these jobs. If subs were actual employees with an FTE equivalency that problem would be solved. It is clear the district is not interested in Addressing the lack of sub availability for the equity in sub availability


Anonymous said...

Off Topic: We need our 14-year old daughter to be evaluated for possible ADHD. Can anyone recommend someone they were happy with?



Anonymous said...

I took my son to the Hallowell Todaro Center - ADD and ADHD is their expertise. We found good care there.

Ingraham Mom

Anonymous said...

@asdf, Michael Kulfan (AKA Neighborhood Neuropsychology) is also good re: ADHD assessment, as well as teasing out learning disabilities and other challenges that often accompany it. Dr. Kulfan can provide ongoing therapy as needed--he wasn't too hard to get into when we tried, but that was a while ago. HTC was a little more of a wait for us, but they offer both therapists and coaches, as well as (I think) medication management if you go that route.

Wherever you end up, if you're interested in ongoing after-school sessions, I'd ask about availability before your first get-to-know-you meeting; I've been in the waiting room listing to people who were all bought in and ready to proceed with a particular therapist/coach, only to find that the student would have to miss math once a week to do so!

Itsa Challenge

Anonymous said...

This city has 4 colleges pumping out fully certificated teachers who should be snapped up as subs and treated well. In fact, new teachers would learn a tremendous amount by being required to spend a year subbing around in various schools. There is no reason to lower the qualifications bar for guest educators.

The 60 day thing for insurance eligibility is really hard to get. This means 60 school days. Not weekends or spring break or anything like that, so it comes out to 3+ months in the SAME classroom (@random idea). When teachers go out on a maternity leave they are highly encouraged by the district to get back on the 59th day so the sub is screwed. And yes, there are principals who make you take a day off to break your job number. When there is a sub for the sub, who do you imagine preps everything and writes sub plans for the one-day person? You guessed it. The regular sub.

open ears