Friday, January 25, 2019

Friday Open Thread

A very busy education news week.  I'll have a separate wrap-up this weekend.

I went to the Mayor/City's press conference today to endorse the district's levies.  Sadly, there were no City Council members there.  The email did not say anything about school levies or Seattle Schools - it just said:

Mayor Jenny A. Durkan will sign council resolution 31860 endorsing Proposition 1 and Proposition 2 on the February 4th ballot.  

I had to look it up to make sure it was the SPS levies and, of course, the election date is wrong. The election is Feb. 12th. I sent their media person an email and was told it was an oversight. Well, it was an oversight that didn't get corrected at the press event.   Hmmm.

Need to pick up a sign for the school levies? Here are details of where on Saturday at 10 am:

South Seattle: Genesee Parking Lot at 4316 S. Genesee Street
West Seattle: 35th and California by Pecos BBQ Pit
Queen Anne/Magnolia: 2001 15th Avenue West by Whole Foods

Anyone know about this new elementary math assessment - Centerpoint Interim Math Benchmark Assessment? Apparently it is happening as a pilot but no notification to parents who might want opt out.

I will also need to do a legislative round-up (big shout-out to Washington's Paramount Duty for their advocacy for public schools).  I did see this one and have mixed feelings - HB 1039 - Emergency Narcan for Public Schools and College Dorms.  National PTA is advocating for this to be done at schools (just like automatic defibrillators).  The only difference is that this is a remedy that has to be administered kind of like an allergy shot.  I think that I might make this something an adult could do but I would worry about putting a burden on a student to save another student.

In Indiana a school superintendent was arrested. Why?
An Indiana school superintendent is accused of pretending a sick student was her son so she could get him treatment. She's been arrested and charged with fraud, but the school board says it stands behind her.
According to court documents that detail the charges made Wednesday, Casey Smitherman, the superintendent of the Elwood School District, relied on her son's insurance when she was unable to get a sick 15-year-old treatment because she wasn't his guardian.
"I have been charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor, and I have cooperated with authorities every step of the way," Smitherman said in a statement obtained by WXIN. "I am committed to this community and our students, and I regret if this action has undermined your trust in me. From the beginning, my ultimate goal has been to provide the best environment for Elwood students' growth physically, mentally and academically, and I remain focused on that purpose."

The school board stands behind Smitherman and issued this statement:
"Dr. Smitherman has tirelessly worked for the best interests of all students in Elwood Community Schools since she was hired. She made an unfortunate mistake, but we understand that it was out of concern for this child's welfare. We know she understands what she did was wrong, but she continues to have our support."
Glad that Trump blinked because the next horrific for families shoe to drop was going to be cutting off food assistance and school lunch funding.

Director community meetings:
- Director Patu from 9-11 am at Raconteur
- Director Pinkham from 10:30-noon at Northgate Library
- Director Burke from 4-5:30 pm at the Fremont Library

What's on your mind?


Honesty said...

I received Schools First campaign literature. The campaign has this to say:

"Provides critically-needed funding to pay for things that the state is not fully funding such as TEACHER SALARIES...."

The state will no longer allow levy funding to pay for teacher salaries. Can we at least have some honesty?

Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

Honesty, for the last time, please understand where SPS is coming from.

They take all the money the State gives them and spends it on basic education and only basic education.

However, there is nothing (not that I see nor that OSPI sees) that prevents them from using levy dollars to enrich/enhance basic education including paying for more teachers.

You seriously think that 9 nurses for 53,000 students is basic education and no district should be able to hire more of them if they have the money?

Honesty said...

According to the League of Education Voters:

"Salary funding becomes even more complicated given that state law does NOT allow districts to pay for a districtwide base salary enhancement for all teachers with local levies. The use of local levies for salary is intended to be used for teachers taking on additional roles or responsibilities."


IMO, it appears the campaign states that levy dollars are needed to pay for teacher salaries.

Anonymous said...

I've stopped recycling now everything goes into the trash can and visa versa . Look up the great recycling scam on PBS.

Boo Boo

seattle citizen said...

League of Education Voters is a pro-"reform" mouthpiece for anti-public education entities seeking to privatize public schools.

I would take their ramblings with a grain of salt.

Honesty said...

According to the Seattle Times, levy funding pays for changes in state mandated health insurance and paid leave.


SEA Swipe said...

Hard to believe that levy dollars are paying for teacher benefits. These expenditures should have been deducted from 20% raises.