Seattle school budget cuts unnecessary! - Jonathan Knapp, SEA President
“There is no need to cut school budgets by $4 million and to cut 50 staff positions,” said Jonathan Knapp, SEA president. “Seattle Public Schools has had, for at least the last 5 years, $30 million more than they expected at the end of each school year.”
SPS annually predicts that they will have about $20 million or more left over at the end of the year. That’s a healthy 3.5% margin – right what experts say a school district this size should have. But instead, SPS has routinely has margins of 9% or even higher.
SPS is recommending cuts of $4 million dollars to school budgets, and millions in cuts elsewhere in the budget, based on having $20 million left at the end of the year. But we know, and they know, that SPS will have closer to $50 million in surplus. School budgets are highly predictable, and this year’s budget is following the same trend as previous years.
“The SAEOPS are paying the price for the mismanagement of funds at the central office. The proposed budget for my school, Ingraham, would reduce to .5 three of the key clerical positions on staff – Fiscal, Attendance and Athletic/Counseling Secretary, creating unreasonable and unhealthy workloads for the remaining 2 full time staff (Admin Secretary and Registrar). This is unacceptable and unrealistic. Prompt and efficient customer service to our students/parents/staff at Ingraham is our #1 priority and we will not be able to guarantee our BEST if we are working with half of our clerical staff.” - Mary Smith, Admin Secretary/Ingraham
Click HERE to see the excellent video Mary created to illustrate how much damage the budget cuts will do!
We have sent several charts about SPS’s finances to SEA representatives across the district and asked that they be shared with BLTs and with all staff as they start their
budgeting this week and next. We have also shared our analysis directly with SPS. You can also find the charts her on our website. Click HERE
to view the slideshow.
"Members have a right to vote on the budget. A “yes” vote on the budget will accept the cuts as proposed by the District; a “no” vote will send the budget back to the District. We believe the District should rescind the $4 million cut and fund our schools as they should." - Jonathan Knapp, SEA President
Two Charter Schools to open in Seattle
The charter school initiative narrowly passed in 2012, and now the first eight schools have been authorized. SEA members turned out in force at one hearing to testify against three of the charter applicants, including one from an online school that was planning to rake in a $6 million annual profit. All three of those schools were rejected by the state charter commission. Click HERE to see a slideshow that shows which schools are proposed and what the shortcomings are in general regarding charter schools.