Sunday, April 13, 2008

Venable and venerable are two different words.

I would like to shine the light on the infamous, but never found, named or listed BAC - Budget Advisory Committee. Who is this? What kind of advisers are they? There are NO community members in this group. They are ALL a part of the Supt staff or department heads.

What kind of results can we expect the group farthest away from students to create? Searching the district website yields NO results. Telephone calls all shield the identity of the members.

It is certain that no one wants their name attached to the "proposal" to slash 4 million dollars.
And when is the "proposal" unveiled?

Regarding your last post-
Librarians HAVE been surplussed. The six smallest schools are being reduced to half time librarians. Six at the six smallest schools were asked to "give input" on their next assignment. Coincidentally, there just happened to be enough vacancies due to leave/non-continuing contracts. The spin is already underway to say that no librarians lost their jobs. How can this be a proposal? Let the double speak begin.

The difference between the sixth smallest and seventh smallest schools is less than ten students; possibly 1 depending on when and how you count. And why not cut partial FTE at a greater number of schools? This also plays the envy card between schools- the big vs the small. Who is responsible for boundary lines? Who is watching enrollment numbers? or is this a matter of convenience?

This is wrong in so many ways. To what extent is it a proposal, when you've already told six schools to plan on getting by with a half time librarian? Which means a library staffed half time; and dark half the time. Librarians who work hard to integrate technology? (so why get more with a levy?) Another way it's wrong is in creating second class schools. It may be more painful to close a school, but the levels of service should be equitable between schools. They all pay the same taxes. Other points briefly include curriculum collaboration, instructional support, access to books and technology, reading promotions, etc.

Of course, no one is suggesting part-time principals, or part-time supt. staff. There work is going down with fewer students right?

Librarians are inspired by the esd15 blog and have created an communication vehicle.

Please enjoy occasional entries from this blog with more details for librarians.

Our big goal is to get a huge crowd wearing red symbolic of bleeding at the April 22 Board Meeting. Cutting librarians cuts the wrong spots, and one too close to students.

Would you consider republishing your million dollar list of cuts? It was a great entry which will certainly be timely again very soon. Add to it the mailing of any PR to the households of the 6 cities. Mail runs every other day. No assistants to the assistants. etc. Transportation cuts. Outsourcing. Maybe you've got another million dollars out there?

Other item of interest-
Here is the "party line" which has gone out to staff, parents and others in the exact same form.

March 28, 2008

Dear Mountlake Terrace Elementary Staff,

I understand there are questions regarding the budget process. All school districts in the state are facing this type of fiscal challenge and are having to seriously look at reductions that none have ever wanted to consider, just to meet operational levels.

We do appreciate the service of all staff and we understand the need to pay employees a competitive wage; the issue is a lack of state funding to meet these obligations.

At this point there are a number of ideas that are being reviewed. Included is the idea of reducing the 6 smallest elem. school LMS positions to .5. Details associated with this type of change are still being reviewed. Also, the enrollment of special education students has been declining in the district; special services staff are processing reductions to match that decline. We will still be supporting special services with general fund dollars, well beyond state and federal funding.

These concepts and many others, including reductions to central office administrators, have started to be processed yesterday with the work of the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC). It will progress to the P-12 group later in April, then to the Board in a study session. The budget development process will continue through the end of the school year and results in our final recommendations to our Board in July and an August approval by the Board.

To even think about reducing staff we all value and know make a difference in children’s lives is painful. Any ideas generated that would help the district meet its fiscal realities for 08-09, are welcome and will be considered. However, few if any have been able to come up with ideas or areas we have not already reduced as a system in prior years. Thus, we are looking at reductions and changes in how we do the work, reductions in what work is done, and reductions in the number of staff available to do the work.

Thank you again for your dedication and passion in working with our students. I appreciate your patience as we work through this difficult task. We will keep you informed as the process continues.


Sue Venable
Assistant Superintendent
Edmonds School District #15
(425) 431-7155

Editorial: Thank you to another anonymous contributor.
Fun Factoid: Mark Zandberg is the son of a Librarian.


Anonymous said...

When was Sue Venable "elected" to Assistant Superintendent? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Elementary teachers - don't forget student time in libray and PE is considered your planning time. Don't let the district get away with it.

Anonymous said...

How can we find out who is on the Budget Advisory Committee? said...

Email Sue Venable and ask. Her email address is at the bottom of the blog entry.

When she tells you (yeah, right), please share with the rest of us.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Sherwood and Edmonds Elementary are two of the six smallest elementary schools who will be cut back to a half-time librarian.

Poor Nick. Those are two tough schools to mess with. The parents there are vocal, they VOTE, and many are connected to attorneys who are willing to take legal action. Good luck Nick. We'll see if this decision gets reversed.

Anonymous said...

First I'll say that I read this blog religiously. I haven't read an email from Nick in months.

This entry is wrong. There are teachers, principals, and community members on the BAC.

One of the people I teach with is on it and so is my principal.

Anonymous said...

We are going to hell in a basket fast and we seem unable to stop this avalanche. You folks who are in charge, I want to know if you even think about the future of the kids that you hold in your hands? Do you even care? When I hear the public talking about the Principal at College Place Elementary, how arrogant, self serving and rude she is and the fact that Ellen Kahan put her in this position, becuase she was and is her friend, and that the team interview process meant nothing. I must ask the question: How can you live with yourself? This school has come such a long way and now you have sent it to the pit of hell, because this person is your friend. I know you will never see her attitude, because in front of you she will be nice and sweet, but when I hear in public places people talking about her uncaring and arrogance and that you are behind it,I have no respect for you. Do you not care that this person only cares about her career and getting ahead? Ellen, if these things are true, you have the same job of firing her, as you did hiring her.

We must re-define purpose. Winning a position by the wrong standard is not winning. When you get power and money by the wrong standard, you get a monkey for a friend. Friendship only counts when we have used it to make a better world. Life is not about conquering, but who you have allowed to conquer you. This may not make sense to you, but I would challenge the Edmonds School District #15's, School Board, Supt Staff, Managers (all levels), to look at themselves, and ask yourselves some questions about what you do and why? I venture to say that if all of you were in the same room making decisions about the future of children, you could not agree. You would all be seeking to have you own way, and the children would never come into the equation. You see information changes nothing, if it did there would be no heroin addicts. Relationship changes us. So now, think about this and if you are honest, you will have to admit that you have information to share, but you DO NOT have relationship, which makes it impossible to hear each other, listen to each other and heaven forbid work together with each other. I would say: "THAT UNTIL THESE GROUPS: SUPT STAFF, SCHOOL BOARD, and MANAGERS (ALL LEVELS)", can come together and have relationship, you fail, and you will continue to fail. "YOU MUST DIE TO SELF".

Anonymous said...

No! the problem is money. SUPER Nick makes 200k the Governer Chris Gregoire makes 165K. WOW how can this happen?.

Nicks, got friends in high places.
But the whiskeys about to run Dry! my friends.

Is it because his a man, ladies?. Men always get paid more! RIGHT.

OH, hell yes he cares about your kids.
He's a big fat JOKE!

Anonymous said...

The lates decision to surplus the librarians has been reversed. It will only affect one school now. Thanks to the public pressure! Keep it going.