Be there this Saturday at your local townhall for education funding!
School budgets came out this week, and this Saturday we can meet with the people who can do the most to fix them! So pull out your red shirt and join us.
Use this link
to let us know in which location you plan to be to show your solidarity.
- Legislative District 37: Rainier Beach Community Center (8825 Rainier Ave S) 9:30 AM to Noon
- Legislative District 36: Leif Erickson Lodge (2245 NW 57th St) 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
- Legislative District 43: Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave 12:30 PM to 2:30PM
School Budgets released: four things to remember
As schools and our building leadership teams grapple with the realities of legislative inaction on McCleary, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- We do expect funding from Olympia, eventually. Even just reversing the "levy cliff," should allow schools to reverse possibly all non-enrollment based displacements.
- Schools should create a "restoration plan" or "buyback list" that details what will be restored in what order. We don't know when money will be restored, but having a staff-approved plan in place will allow your school to move more quickly to bring back staff.
- Natural annual staff turnover is greater than the expected number of displacements; therefore, there are very likely to more jobs available than there are staff displaced, and even new staff hired.
Displacement is not the same as being laid off or RIF'd (reduction in force). If you are displaced from your school, you will most likely find a position at another school. If the worst case scenario happens and there are a number of layoffs, those are by seniority. If you have three years of seniority and are displaced, for example, you would be very unlikely to be laid off because there are many staff (even if not displaced from their school) who would be laid off before you.
Longer Day: more student time, and more time for collaboration
Next year the student day will lengthen by 20 minutes per day, and students will also be released one hour early on Wednesdays to allow for staff collaboration during the school day. The net effect is that students will spend 40 minutes more per week in class.
"A student day that matched other Districts was the school board's top priority when we bargained and went on strike in 2015," said
SEA President Phyllis Campano. "We made sure though, that we would be paid for our additional time. We also found common ground with the District that in fact allocating more time in the school day for staff collaboration is of greater value than simply more seat time. And we also ensured that all students would have at least 30 minutes of recess."
A 20 member SEA bargaining team
has been meeting weekly with the District since December to hammer out details of the change. All financial provisions of our contract remain intact despite the legislature's inaction on funding, including the 4.5% raise for all certificated and classified staff.
Key discussions in our bargaining over the details of the longer day:
- How can we build elementary PCP schedules that are fair and workable?
- How will early and late buses be covered?
- What are the opportunities and expectations for paraprofessionals and SAEOPS on the release day?
- How can we facilitate collaboration between staff in different buildings when that is more useful than staying in your own building?
- How can "tech time" best support student learning?
We are using an interest based process to bargain these impacts, rather than "positional bargaining." Put simply, in positional bargaining you first make proposals and then talk about them; while in interest based bargaining, you talk first and then make proposals.
"I have been pleasantly surprised at the cooperative nature of this bargaining effort. People on both sides have been respectful and seem to be genuinely trying to arrive at the most ideal solutions for all parties," said
SAEOP President Lynne Hubbard, CEOE, Laurelhurst Elementary. "This climate is a huge improvement over our last contract bargaining and gives me hope for future efforts!"
While many of the details were adequately spelled out at the time we completed bargaining in 2015, a few things need to be brought to the SEA Representative Assembly for review and ratification. We aim to finish our committee's work by March 31st and initiate the RA's review process in April, with time for reps to bring proposed changes to all members prior to voting in May.
Agreement with SPS: Staff meeting time set aside for Safe Schools
Based on a
new agreement just reached with SPS
, principals must now allocate one principal directed staff meeting per year to allow certificated staff to work on Safe Schools training. Remaining time needed to complete the training can be done during staff directed staff meetings (i.e. the other Wednesdays), prep time or on your own time.
If a principal directed staff meeting has not yet been allocated for Safe Schools training, then one should be soon. Staff who have already completed their safe schools trainings are not obligated to participate.
This agreement reflects what SEA has considered to be standard practice for years. SEA filed a grievance two years ago when SPS issued instructions for completing Safe Schools trainings which did not include using principal-directed staff meeting time. SPS and SEA agreed to proceed to arbitration later this year to determine whether staff are owed compensation as a result of the District's instructions.
Inequity doesn't take a day off, and our substitutes are a vital part of eliminating the opportunity gap. More than 50 substitutes gathered at Garfield High School on February 1st for a training on "Institutionalizing Racial Equity" organized by the SEA Substitutes Association.
Marquita Prinzing (
SEA Center for Race and Equity) and
Fran Partridge (
SPS Equity & Race Relations Department) led the training with the objectives of equipping substitute teachers with a foundational understanding of race and racism and provide strategies for teaching in a culturally responsive manner.
"This training helps teachers do three things: understand the racialized context in which we live, develop positive beliefs about each and every one of our students, and form positive, culturally responsive relationships," said
The trainers pointed out that 90% of communication is non-verbal, which led to a discussion of "micro-aggressions." Micro-aggressions are daily occurrences of behavioral or verbal actions (unintentional or intentional) which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults against people due to their race or gender. This allowed the teachers to reflect on how their words and mannerisms might be impacting their students.
"Everyone definitely should take this training," said substitute teacher Mashana Ausler, "so they can have an awareness of how they may or may not come across to students and how to interact with them in a way that they know we're here for them and that we care."
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Congratulations to Vallerie Fisher for being given the WEA Human and Civil Rights (HCR) Committee's Student Involvement Award!
"Vallerie Fisher is so deserving of this recognition, her dedication and commitment to girls groups has been unwavering despite numerous challenges and obstacles," said
Micheal Melonson, SEA Para- professional President. "She has not just invested time, energy and enthusiasm, but at her own expense she has provided great opportunities for these young women to dream bigger, develop a positive trajectory and a vision for greatness."
Vallerie is treasurer of SEA's Paraprofessional Department and is a member of the NEA Board of Directors. Congratulations Vallerie!
Equity in Gifted Program Summit at UW -
SEA Center for Race and Equity (CRE) and the direction of the work is member led. One of the roles of the Center for Race and Equity is to help create spaces where educators can come together. On February 9th and 10th, SEA CRE provided an opportunity for 10 educators to attend the Equity in Gifted Programs Summit hosted by UW. On Friday afternoon, 7 of them spent a few hours sharing insights, clarifying concerns, and envisioning possibilities. SEA Center for Race and Equity is committed to empowering educators to continue, grow and create equity in education.
DATE CHANGE: Future Native Teachers Initiative Conference registration is open
for this year's event May 22-24 at WSU. This is a camp for Native American and Alaskan Native students considering becoming educators. The two day camp is led by Native American and Alaskan Native educators.
The registration link is on the form
SICK LEAVE REQUESTS
Sped IA Barbara A Jenkins @ Martin Luther King Jr. is in need of shared sick leave. Barbara is very grateful for any hours you can spare.
Members can access the shared leave form by clicking
. Forms can be submitted to
or FAXED to 206-252-0021 or mailed to Seattle Public Schools, MS 33-380, PO Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1165.