Dr. Nyland's April 5 Letter to Families Regarding Budget Restoration
2017-18 Budget Restoration Update
Dear Seattle Public School Families:
On Monday, April 3, I presented the Levy Cliff budget restoration recommendations to the School Board. In the document attached, you can review the restoration plan to date, including central office updates. Open the SPS restoration plan document
Eighty eight percent of the restored $24 million budget will go back directly to classrooms and academic supports, including over 200 positions. In addition to schools’ baseline staffing, restoration funding will support academic needs including: retention of mentors for first year teachers, funding designated for an elementary English language arts curricula adoption, and our commitment to eliminating opportunity gaps.
Prioritizing classrooms means central office, as appropriate, took the most significant cuts. Schools will take less than a 1.5 percent reduction and central office reductions will equal 4.7 percent. Central reductions will require a combination of closing vacant positions and reducing positions.
We know from stakeholders that preserving central services and positions that directly support students and families is an expectation of the community. We did our best, but with a remaining $50 million shortfall, every area of the district is impacted. The reductions will require a central office reorganization in order to preserve critical functions, and in some cases, work will not continue.
As I have said before, we urgently need the full state funding promised by the McCleary lawsuit. We remain hopeful that some additional funding may become available through the Legislature’s final budget. If McCleary is not addressed, we will be having an even more difficult budget season next year in preparation for 2018-19.
Full funding is something I believe is achievable and is the moral thing to do for the students of Washington state. Thank you again to our many families and partners who advocated for the Levy Cliff extension. Together, I am convinced we can realize the promise the state has made – that in Washington, we will ensure every student has access to a great public education.
I will continue, as I have promised you, to communicate as I learn more and as critical decisions are made in Olympia about the state budget. For additional budget details and information, visit the 2017-18 budget webpage or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
I hope you and your student have a wonderful spring break (April 10-14) and an opportunity to rejuvenate. It is a privilege and honor to serve as your Superintendent.
Dr. Larry Nyland