Seattle: Why it’s Hard to Take Our District Seriously

Melissa Westbrook:

This is our district and how it operates even during hard times.
Update: I attended the joint Mayor/Superintendent event tonight (separate thread to come) but I asked the Mayor two things. One, how many staff at City Hall got a raise since he has been Mayor because the District had and, if he was hearing from powers that be about taking over the school district. (I pointed out that we RIFed teachers, laid off elementary counselors and maintenance workers with a $500M backlog in maintenance.) On the latter, he said no and that he felt that they were still in the collaboration stage with the district and it was working well. On the former he stated that the unionized city workers had been persuaded to NOT take a 2% raise but take the amount of inflation and that NO other city workers (non-unionized) had a raise. (He said he could not himself take a pay cut under City Charter but had given $10k to charities and that his staff was making less than the previous administration.)
The Superintendent jumped in and said that they gave bumps to people who got promotions. I had specifically said in my question to the Mayor that these were not for people with promotions and/or additional job responsibilities and I said that again. She then said that they had found that they hadn’t been paying people what they should and gave them raises. You can imagine how that went over in the room.
Paying administrative people what they are worth in a poor economy in a district that says it has no money. It is not the fault of those people to ask for the money but it is wrong for the district to pay them more now. There’s no amount of waffling that can change that.