K-12 education may be taking a big hit with school days cut and improvements sidetracked. Cuts were expected to K-12 education; the questions were always what and how much. Neither House nor Senate budget proposals funded schools at maintenance levels, and both chambers are considering allowing furlough days.
Following is a recap of the budget:
The good news is:
All-day kindergarten for our poorest students was funded, the House proposal even increased it a percentage point each year – so that by 2014 the state would cover kindergarten for 22 percent of our poorest children.
Money was also provided to trim K-3 class sizes at high poverty schools. The Senate allotted $64 million, or enough to trim 2.5 students from high poverty K-3 classes; the House provided $25 million, enough to trim 1 child from high poverty K-3 classes. (Regular class sizes are funded at 25.23 for K-3; 27 for grades 4-6; 28.53 for grades 7-8; 28.73 for grades 9-12. This is an allotment scale ONLY and districts are free to fund at levels they choose. This is usually negotiated with the local unions.)
Money was also designated to cover a trimmed-back education ombudsman office, and kindergarten assessments at schools that receive all-day kindergarten funds.
The teacher and principal evaluation pilots were funded, and with a little extra so a few schools could start the transition process early.
Levy equalization funding was maintained in House and Senate budgets (it was trimmed in the governor’s proposal, with a scale that sent more money to lowest income schools)
And just about everyone agreed early learning is essential for kids. On the Senate side, ECEAP was the one program not cut. (That’s a preschool program for low income kids; it includes parent education and is strongly supported by national PTA.)
So what was cut?
Teacher and other school staff salaries (though bonuses for National Board Certification were kept in House and Senate proposals). The House “saved” $56 million by freezing the Step increases – these are increases teachers get for longevity or more education. The Senate cut its salary allotments by 3 percent for $261 million in “savings,” the same deal negotiated with state workers. The hitch is state workers took that cut as furlough days. When teachers are furloughed, school shuts down.To complicate matters, teachers are not state employees. They are district employees. So while the state can opt to send less money for salaries, how those cuts are absorbed into individual school budgets will vary between districts. Contracts will have to be reopened. Both House and Senate are considering allowing schools to shut down for up to 5 days to accommodate staff furloughs
$1.5 billion by suspending the student achievement fund (I-728) and cost of living increases (I-732). The achievement fund gave schools money for extended learning (all-day K, summer school, after-school remediation, etc.) and class-size reduction.
$212 million in K-3 class size reduction (partially restored for high-poverty schools)
$92 million (Senate only) in bus funds
Various cuts to Alternative Learning Education; reform initiatives, maintenance, food service, the teacher mentoring program and student assessments and a host of small programs that targeted science, math and other learning areas. Budgets for the state board of education and state superintendent’s office were also cut.
Parents: Legislators need to hear from you! Please take a few minutes and email your legislators or call the hotline at 800-562-6000.
Below are some talking points you can use in your email or phone call:
Saving our ABCS, Easy as 1-2-3
1. Don't balance the budget on the backs of children.
Legislators are considering up to $2,000 less, per student. This is on top of the retroactive cuts just passed. The Senate's 3 percent salary cut is too much for school districts to absorb.
2. Cutting instruction is no way to "pay" for education
The state should not furlough kids or make that a local option. Access to education should NOT be part of budget talks, and should NOT be subject to local bargaining.
3. Take positive steps for students
The state needs to improve basic education to better meet the needs of kids and better use taxpayer money. We're asking legislators to implement this year's recommendations of the Quality Education Council - they include thoughtful steps to improve instruction, close the gap and support educators. They are low or no cost, have bipartisan support, and are supported by Washington State PTA, and the Washington Education Association, the State Board of Education, the state superintendent and a range of education groups and advocates. These were included in HB 1443.
We can support kids – even in a tough economy
PTSA Legislative Chair
Seattle Public Schools
District IV Community Meeting
Director Michael DeBell
Saturday, April 30, 2011
9:00am - 11:00am
4001 21st Avenue West
Seattle, WA 98199
(next to Fisherman's Terminal)
Please join School Board Director Michael DeBell for coffee and an informal, drop-in community meeting to discuss public school issues and opportunities
District IV includes Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard
SPS School Board
Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up NEXT WEEK, May 2-6th. Please take this opportunity to shower our teachers with appreciation!
We want your opinion! Please fill our an online neighborhood survey to assess your thoughts on features of the neighborhood as well as around your home.
Questions range from “Where is your favorite place in Queen Anne?”, “Are there streets in Queen Anne that you feel unsafe crossing?” to “What pets do you have?"
The survey is completely confidential. And we would love for kids to participate as well. The survey is open to each person in QA, not one-per-household - everyone's opinion is sought!
Queen Anne residents are asked to complete the online survey by April 30. Results will be posted June 1.
The community survey can be accessed through the following link: http://app.fluidsurveys.com/s/SQAsurvey
and should take about 15 minutes to complete.
For more information please see the Sustainable Queen Anne website: http://www.sustainablequeenanne.org
Heather and Lisa
Co-chairs, Sustainable Queen Anne
WRITER’S WORKSHOP FOR ADULTS
WHAT: This workshop is intended to put you in the shoes of your student to experience what the writing process feels like. There will be a combination of practical writing tips and ideas to support your student. Please keep in mind that it will be important to attend all 5 sessions and that we will be taking risks by sharing our writing, and publishing.
WHO: Instructor is Catharine Blaine K-8 principal Heather Swanson
WHEN: Tuesday evenings
BEGIN DATE: May 3rd
END DATE: May 31st
TIME: 7 – 9 pm
LOCATION: Catharine Blaine, 2550 34th Ave. W., next to the Magnolia Community Center
Registration online only: at: www.SchoolsInAction.org
Cost is $50
Financial aid is available.
Contact: Lisa Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-375-5375
We are very proud to announce our inaugural edition YEARBOOK! With twenty-eight full color pages of our Queen Anne Explorers it is sure to be a hit! There is nothing like a yearbook to celebrate experiences and create traditions for our students. It is a place where we will recognize student and staff achievements and share the exciting stories of our first year. We are thrilled to bring you this valuable and historical keepsake for your student, family, and the entire school community. Order forms will come home on April 25th. For only $20.00 you will be able to preserve your child's school memories with a professional styled keepsake.
More information will be posted soon, so keep an eye out for details.
Lego Club - Friday Mornings
The Friday Morning Pre-Engineering Lego club for students in grades K-2 will continue through the end of school. There will be 7 meetings in this last session beginning April 29th and continuing through June 10th. Club meets from 8:00 to 9:15 in room 103. Tuition is $98 for the session. Please register online through the Play Well TEKnologies website
Art Club Spring Session
KidsCreate Art Club will continue for another session beginning the week after spring break. Monday afternoon meetings will be held from April 25th to June 6th (no meeting May 30th) from 3:40 to 4:45 in room 103. All grades are welcome. Tuition is $80 for the session. The theme is:
Mosaics! Mobiles! and Bigger-than-Life Paintings!
BUILD MOSAIC stepping stones, CREATE 3-D BUG mobiles, PAINT GEORGIA O'KEEFE inspired watercolors, and MAKE your own STAMPS!
Join professional teaching-artist, Nicole Appell, as we Spring into Art in this three dimensional art class.
Please register by downloading the permission form from the Kids Create website (http://www.kidscreate.org/Schools/QAEMcD.html) and turn it in to the office along with your payment by April 15th.
Drama Club Spring Session
SP Nation will host a spring Drama Club session that meets Thursdays from 3:40-5:15 in room 103. Session runs from April 28th to June 9th. All grades are welcome. For the spring session, the group will be diving into favorite books and stories to explore characters, role-play, discover new endings, play games, go on imagination adventure, and have fun!
Tuition is $75 for the session. Please register by completing the registration form available (soon!) on the QAE Before/After School webpage and mail or drop-off at Sweet Pea Cottage with your payment by April 26th.
Please join us this Saturday, April 16th
Mayor’s Neighborhood Visit
Question & Answer Session
11 W. Aloha
Mayor Mike McGinn and City Departments will answer your questions and hear what’s on your mind.
For more information please contact Liz Birkholz: email@example.com or 206-233-5107
As many of you know, QAE is going to have a community garden at the new building for next year. But to really have something special, the planning must start early. In hopes of having something growing sooner than later, the Design/Planting Committee could really use your help. If you or someone you know happen to have some extra vegetable starts you would be willing to donate, please contact Kristin Teske at firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop them off at 211 West Smith St.
We are looking for lettuce, radishes, carrots, peas or any other veggies you might have started already. We would also love Sweet Peas or Nasturtium.
Planting Committee Lead