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A message from the Superintendent

March 7, 2014


Dear principals, teachers and staff:

Superintendent Jose BandaI want to take a moment to talk about an issue happening at the state level, which could greatly impact our work on behalf of students here at Seattle Public Schools.

Thank you to our school staff, who are busy working on school budgets right now. I appreciate your work, especially in light of our $17.5 million shortfall. I know it is not easy to make budget cuts, and we want to do everything we can to protect funding to our classrooms.

We understand from our State Legislature that we may no longer receive the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver. We have received this waiver since July 2012 and without it, Seattle Public Schools would have to redirect 30 percent of our total Title 1 grant budget. That’s a total of $2.8 million.

This year, we have 33 Title 1 grant-funded schools, a full list can be found online. Without the NCLB waiver, the impact to Seattle Public Schools includes:

• an immediate reduction in classroom coaches and curriculum specialists who work in literacy and math at all grade levels in the District;
• schools receiving Title I funds will need to reduce the intervention supports that are provided to those students below grade level in both reading and math;
• Title I schools will need to reduce or eliminate academic extended day programs;
• funds available for supplemental intervention materials would be reduced or eliminated; and
• funds for early learning would be significantly decreased.
 
In addition, given the size of Seattle Public Schools, without the waiver, the administrative costs associated with running the mandatory Supplemental Education Services (SES) program and the mandatory Public School Choice (PSC) provision would greatly increase. Before the waiver, the District had a full time, certificated employee whose sole job was to administer SES and PSC. We no longer fund that position.

The District is already looking at a reduction from the state in overall Title I funding for 2014-15. Any additional loss would be very problematic for our schools.

I will keep you updated as we know more. Thank you, as always, for the work you do on behalf of our students.

Sincerely,



José Banda
Superintendent
Seattle Public School
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