Seattle Public Schools

Photo of school buses parked in a parking lot.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

UPDATE: 8/24/13, 9:41 a.m. PT

In a letter to the community Friday evening, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda outlined key elements of the district's latest contract offer, including a four percent pay increase over two years, hiring extra support staff including school psychologists, nurses, speech pathologists, and occupational and physical therapists, and improvements to the special education delivery model.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

School doesn't start for two weeks, but it was standing room only at the Seattle School Board meeting Wednesday night as hundreds of community members turned out for a host of issues they want settled before school begins.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

Tension is building during contract talks between Seattle School District and its teachers’ union.

The two sides need to agree on a new, three-year contract before school begins in less than a month.

Flickr Photo/sidewalk flying (CC BY-NC-ND)

Class size appears to be the main sticking point between Seattle School District and its teachers’ union as they bargain a new, three-year contract before school is scheduled to start next month.

Seattle Education Association President Jonathan Knapp says the district’s latest proposal, made last week, would increase class sizes in Seattle by two students per class in grades four through twelve.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

According to a letter KUOW has obtained from Seattle Public Schools to the Washington State Auditor’s Office, the district faces $29 million in claims and settlement demands from current or former students who say they were sexually abused by a teacher or fellow student.

Suzanne Dale Estey

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Suzanne Dale Estey

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Economic development consultant

Website: http://suzanne4schools.com

Top priorities:

  • Keep district focused on student outcomes.
  • Secure and maintain adequate levy and state funding.
  • Stabilize district leadership.

Dean McColgan

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Dean McColgan

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Director of development at the Museum of Flight, former City Council member and mayor of Federal Way

Website: http://www.deanforseattleschools.org/

Top priorities:

  • Re-instill community trust in the school district.
  • Emphasize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education.
  • Allow teachers to innovate.

Sue Peters

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Sue Peters

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Freelance writer and communications strategist, founding member of Parents Across America

Website: http://suepeters4schoolboard.org/

Top priorities:

  • Improve curriculum and reduce standardized testing.
  • Include community in making decisions.
  • Revamp special education and advanced learning services.

Stephan Blanford

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Stephan Blanford

Candidate for Seattle School District 5: Capitol Hill, Central Area, Leschi, Beacon Hill, Downtown

Occupation: Educational policy consultant

Website: http://blanfordforseattleschools.com

Top priorities:

  • Close the achievement gap.
  • Boost school performance.
  • Improve School Board functionality.

LaCrese Green

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy LaCrese Green

Candidate for Seattle School District 5: Capitol Hill, Central Area, Leschi, Beacon Hill, Downtown

Occupation: Retired, volunteer tutor for Ethiopian immigrant children

Website: http://www.lacresegreen.com/

Top priorities:

  • Reduce racial inequity.
  • Stop school closures and reopen closed schools.
  • Increase community involvement with the School Board.

Olu Thomas

Jul 15, 2013

Candidate for Seattle School District 5: Capitol Hill, Central Area, Leschi, Beacon Hill, Downtown

Occupation: Unemployed social worker

Top priorities:

  • Reduce inequitable discipline of students of color.
  • Train teachers on cultural competency and other equity issues.
  • Convert unused school buildings to community centers.

Interfaith Amigos
Flickr Photo/University of Denver

 State To Seattle Public Schools: Fix Problems In Special Ed
Seattle Public Schools receive $11 million per year from the federal government designated for special education. The district is now in a danger of losing that money if they don’t fix a number of problems identified by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The mandate came down last week. Where is Seattle Public Schools’ special ed program falling short? And what solutions are the state proposing? We’ll get some answers this morning from education reporter Ann Dornfeld.

The Interfaith Amigos On Religious Practices That Could Benefit The Non-Religious
Many people in our region are religious, and many are not. The Interfaith Amigos share the teachings, meditations and practices from their religious traditions that would be a positive addition to all of our lives, even the non-religious.

Greendays Gardening Panel
Our gardening panel includes a flower expert, native plant expert and vegetable gardening expert. They answer your gardening questions every Tuesday.   

A state audit released today found that Seattle Public Schools misspent $483,862 in federal grant money meant to improve graduation rates. District officials agree with the finding, but say the money did go to useful dropout prevention programs.

After years of sloppy bookkeeping and at times lax financial oversight, Seattle Public Schools has improved its internal financial controls, but needs to strengthen them further, auditors from the Washington State Auditor's Office told the school board in a special meeting Wednesday.

Seattle Public Schools

Six candidates are vying for two Seattle School Board seats in the August 6 primary election.

In Director District 5, which includes Capitol Hill, the Central Area, Beacon Hill and downtown, Kay Smith-Blum is stepping down from her board seat after one term.

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