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And what do I think?
I have seen a lot of money be wasted over the last two years. First by closing schools, which was an expensive process in itself, $578,000 to be exact, just to open them again for a lot more money. The supe figured that there would be a savings of $5M to close these schools and programs which caused a re-shuffling of students throughout the district. This is a process that is difficult, time consuming and disruptive for students, teachers, staff and families. Then, just to have the supe decide within a few months that five school buildings needed to be re-opened to the tune of $47.8M.
Our Chief Financial Officer never provided the numbers last year that were requested by the school board president Michael DeBell to substantiate the rif. Enrollment was on the increase for that fall and yet the superintendent and CFO were hellbent on rifing teachers just to bring most of them back in the fall because of the increased enrollment.
And the state audit should have been an embarrassment to the board and the superintendent. Lack of oversight on behalf of the school board and rules broken.
The party given by the supe with a service station of some sort that cost us $7,000?!
There is more information about the audit that is being discussed on the Save Seattle Schools blog that might be of interest.
And then there was the superintendent rifing teachers, firing school counselors, eliminating the business office staff and Human Resources within the district, as well as letting go the Director of School Partnership just so the supe could hire a Broad resident and a senior admin staff at the cost of $127,000 last year.
Some of this levy money is to be used to start paying teachers based on their student’s test scores, the pay per score idea that the ed reformers like to tout as the miracle cure for all that ails the educational system in our country.
But, I am not going to tell you how to vote or how I will vote. What I and Sue will do is provide you with the information so that you can make an informed decision.
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There is a lot to consider this time around.