Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Seattle Schools This Week

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Seattle Schools This Week:

How State and Local Government Subsidies Hurt Public Education

Thanks to Goldy over at The Stranger Slog for the alert to the three-part series at the NY Times about the $80B a year in subsidies states give to businesses.  From his piece:

The Times has also included a handy little interactive database that allows you to explore these incentive programs state by state. For example, Washington State taxpayers spend $2.35 billion a year on incentive programs. That's roughly 15 cents per state budget dollar, or $349 for every man, woman, and child in the state. Imagine how different our education funding debate might look if our state had an extra $2.35 billion a year to spend on schools?

As Hallmark CEO Donald J. Hall Jr., put it it about the budget-depleting subsidy border war between Kansas and Missouri: “If you’re looking at the competitiveness of a region, the most important thing a region can do is to 

Seattle Schools This Week

Monday, December 3rd
Community Meeting with Director McLaren from 6-8 p.m. at High Point Center,
6400 Sylvan Way SW

Wednesday, December 5th
Board Work Session On Capacity Management and NSAP/Transition from 4:00 -5:30 p.m.  No agenda yet available.

I will note a few items related to these issues that may come up at the Work  Session that were discussed at the Operations Ctm meeting on November 15th.
  • Tracy Libros noted that there may be potential impacts from "scheduled/approved sunsetting of transportation if students return to attendance area schools.  There are about 1800 students this could affect.  Hard to know if this would be a major impact as many parents might not choose to change schools for their student once they are established.  However, with the capacity crunch the district has, almost any number in the wrong place could be a problem.  One key spot is West Seattle Elementary where 109 students at other schools could possibly chose to go back there as their attendance school when they lose their transportation to other schools.  
  • Another item likely to be discussed is what Ms. Libros says is the LAST transition plan.  She also had the tiebreakers for all categories (I don't have a link to the document but I'll try to get it.). 
 The differences I see in comparing to what is at the district website:
  1. for attendance areas elementaries, distance will now be number two (sandwiched between number one, sibling, and number three, lottery.
  2. for attendance area middle schools, distance is now nmber three after sibling, feeder school and before lottery.
  3. attendance area high schools remain the same (sibling and lottery) EXCEPT for West Seattle and Chief Sealth which follower a feeder pattern like middle schools.
  4. Option schools - same tiebreakers - sibling, geographic zone and lottery
  5. Montessori tiebreakers would now be attendance area, sibling, distance, lottery (last year it was attendance area, sibling and lottery).  
  6. Spectrum tiebreakers would be service area, sibling, distance and lottery.  This is for elementary/K-8.  For middle schools, it is sibling, feeder school, distance and lottery.
  7. APP tiebreakers would be sibling, distance and lottery for elementary.  Middle School would be sibling, feeder school, distance and lottery.  High school would be sibling and lottery.
NOTE: the above is ONLY for 2013-14.  

The tiebreakers will then, according to the current info at the district website and starting with 2014-2015, change into their permanent status.

In comparing this Transition Plan for 2013-2014 to what the website says will be permanent tiebreakers, distance will go away.  For Montessori, the sibling and distance tiebreakers would go away.   For Spectrum, service area would go away.  For APP, sibling/distance, and feeder school would go away.  The sole tiebreaker for APP would be lottery.

I will do a full report out on the Operations Ctm meeting but one interesting item that was stated by Pegi McEvoy in response to a query by Director Peaslee about overcrowding at Eckstein is that Eckstein doesn't need additional homerooms for next year.  Also, that they didn't end up needing all the portables they put in at Eckstein.  (I suspect the overcrowding at Eckstein isn't, of course, about homerooms but lack of gym, lunchroom, bathroom and library space as is the case at most overcrowded schools.)

Thursday, December 6th
Superintendent meeting with Asian and Pacific Islander communities from 6-8 p.m. at the Filipino Community Center of Seattle, 5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way S.

Saturday, December 8th
Community meeting with Director Carr from 8:30-10:00 am, Bethany Community Church, 8023 Green Lake Dr. N. (entrance off playground).