FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – When people in Spokane were asked what they wanted to see in the next superintendent of Spokane Public Schools, they came up with a laundry list of attributes, but one consistently rose to the top: innovation. Shelley Redinger, the woman hired to lead Washington’s second-largest district starting July 1, has a history of changing the culture and operation of the districts she has headed, even though she’s only 44. Read more
Spokane School District Resolution No. 2011-20
About this measure
This is a proposed three-year property tax levy.
Voters in District 81 are being asked to approve an excess levy of $4.46 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which would raise an estimated $217.5 million annually for maintenance and operations beginning in 2013 to supplement the district’s state funding.
The school district’s current levy of $3.94 per $1,000 of assessed property value is expiring.
If approved by voters, the owner of a $150,000 home, for example would pay $669 per year.
A copy of the Spokane School Board’s resolution authorizing this levy request can be found here.
Information about the levy compiled by District 81 can be found here.
Spokane Public Schools District 81
• June 1888-Feb. 1889 Bruce Wolverton • Feb. 1889-June 1889 E.C. Houston • July 1889-June 1899 David Bemiss • July 1899-June 1903 J.F. Saylor • July 1903-June 1908 J.A. Tormey • July 1908-June 1916 Bruce Watson • July 1916-June 1943 Orville Pratt • July 1943-June 1957 John Shaw • Aug. 1957-July 1965 William Sorenson • Oct. 1965-June 1972 Albert Ayars • July 1972-June 1980 Walter Hitchcock • July 1980-June 1993 Gerald Hester • July 1993-June 2001 Gary Livingston • July 2001-June 2007 Brian Benzel • July 2007-June 2012 Nancy Stowell Read more
The next Spokane Public Schools superintendent is expected to be paid about $17,000 more than the current district leader. The school board plans to approve Shelley Redinger’s contract at Wednesday’s board meeting. Her total compensation – salary and benefits – is $240,000. Current Superintendent Nancy Stowell, whose last day is June 30, retires as the 19th-highest-paid superintendent in Washington with total compensation of $222,906. Read more
A Virginia school administrator with deep ties to Eastern Washington will be the next superintendent for Spokane Public Schools. The school board decided on Shelley Redinger Saturday morning, school officials said. Redinger will replace Superintendent Nancy Stowell, who will retire at the end of June. Read more
Shelley Redinger has been named as the next Spokane Public Schools superintendent, school officials announced today. Read more
Spokane Public Schools’ superintendent finalists – Shelley Redinger and Alexander Apostle – were in town this week, where community leaders, area residents and district employees grilled them about their past and plied them for hints about their leadership style should they become the district’s next leader. More than 100 community members attended one or both of the forums held Wednesday and Thursday at Spokane middle schools. Read more
One of the three finalists for the job of Spokane Public Schools superintendent withdrew his name from consideration after school board members asked for more answers about a controversy in his past. When a recruiter called Gregory Firn, a schools superintendent in Wadesboro, N.C., on Sunday, the candidate told the recruiter that taking his name out of the running was better than rehashing events from the past. Read more
After much conversation, deliberation and interviewing, Spokane Public Schools’ board has narrowed down the search for the next superintendent to three finalists. Alexander Apostle, of Missoula; Shelley Redinger, of Fredericksburg, Va.; and Gregory Firn, of Wadesboro, N.C.; will meet with the community and school staff at forums April 10, 11 and 12. Read more
Spokane Public Schools’ board has narrowed down the superintendent search to six semifinalists. The names are being kept confidential. However, school officials said the six people are all from outside the district and are a mix of men and women in various positions across the country. Read more
More than 75 percent of Spokane Public Schools students are sporting the mortarboard after four years in high school, a preliminary review of the district’s graduation rates shows. That’s up from an on-time graduation rate of slightly more than 60 percent in 2007-’08 and up nearly 7 percentage points since last year, when the district began using a federal guideline to calculate graduation rates. Superintendent Nancy Stowell attributed the improvement to “a shift in expectation, culture and some viable interventions.” Read more
Last June 6, Michael Miller, a teacher at Shadle Park High School, wrote a series of email messages regarding school board candidate – now school board member – Deana Brower. According to a complaint filed with state officials, Miller described Brower in one note as “INCREDIBLE.” In another, he urged a teacher at Lewis and Clark to invite Brower to meet with teachers there. In another, he wrote to Jenny Rose, president of the Spokane Education Association, granting her permission to send a message he’d written on behalf of Brower to “other buildings” to help them arrange events. Read more
A new program aimed at helping Spokane Public Schools’ failing seventh- and eighth-graders is not the fix school officials had hoped. Individual Credit Advancement Now, or ICAN, was created by district administrators and implemented in November. The goal was to identify students failing math or language arts and require them to stay after school for tutoring until they are back on track. Read more
Integrity, a sense of humor, honesty. It’s not a dream date wish list. Those are just a few of the character traits community members want to see in the next Spokane Public Schools superintendent, according to recruiters. Read more
Central Valley School District employees waved brightly lettered signs reading “Thank you” at passing motorists in Spokane Valley on Thursday to show appreciation to voters who helped pass the levy. “We take the extra effort to stand out on the corner to get people to vote, and I just thought it was important to take the extra effort and stand out there and say thank you,” said Central Valley High School Principal Mike Hittle, who came up with the idea. Read more
OLYMPIA – Faced with a rapidly growing number of requests for public records, the Spokane School District wants to charge the public for the cost of locating and preparing those records. Mark Anderson, associate superintendent, said District 81 wants to pass on the “reasonable costs”… Read more
Only 24 Spokane residents attended two community forums to express their opinion about the desired qualities of the next Spokane Public Schools superintendent. Nevertheless, the two recruiters hired by the district said they learned much about what the community wants. The national search for a new superintendent was launched earlier this month to replace Nancy Stowell, who is retiring June 30. The search firm hired by the district’s board, Illinois-based Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, led the community forums on Tuesday and Wednesday. Read more
A lawsuit that South Hill neighbors hoped would prevent the move of Jefferson Elementary School has been thrown out. The case was dismissed by Spokane County Superior Court Judge Gregory Sypolt on a technicality. The opposition – Hart Field Preservation Organization – failed to meet a 30-day deadline to appeal the district’s decision to move the school from its current location at 37th Avenue and Grand Boulevard to 37th and Manito Boulevard. Read more
School levies are often associated with K-12 programs, such as sports, art and music. But the community-supported portion of a school district’s budget – a local tax – also helps pay for hundreds of jobs within a school district, including teachers, coaches, bus drivers, secretaries and janitors. Read more
A national search for a new Spokane Public Schools superintendent will start after the holidays, school officials announced Thursday. The school board’s decision comes just one week after Nancy Stowell announced she’s retiring effective June 30. Read more
During her final six months as Spokane Public Schools superintendent, Nancy Stowell plans to write a retirement wish list on a big piece of paper that will hang on the back of her office door. On Thursday, she rattled off a few items she already has in mind: “I want to spend time with my husband. I want to learn how to speak fluent French. I want to learn to play the piano. I want to cook.” Read more
Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Nancy Stowell announced her resignation at the school board meeting Wednesday night. Her last day will be June 30. Stowell has worked in the district for more than 40 years, and became interim superintendent in 2007 and superintendent in 2008 after a national search. Read more
An October debate for school board and mayoral candidates at Ferris High School was promoted as student-led and -run, from start to finish. But few, if any, of the questions were written by students; instead, many were submitted by a handful of adults with ties to the Republican Party, leaving at least two candidates who took part feeling duped, they said. Read more
Bored with his West Valley High School classes, Harrison Calligan thought skipping school with friends might be more challenging. The teen figured out how to block the school’s numbers from his home phone so his mother couldn’t be alerted to his absence, and after lunch he’d leave school. Read more
Eighth-grader Seairra Rice comes from a family of wrestlers, but she’s the first girl in her family to participate in the sport. “She wanted to show the boys she could do what they could do,” said her dad, Chris Rice, who watched his daughter during a recent wrestling practice at Spokane’s Chase Middle School. “She took a lot of flak from the girls at first for doing it, but she pushed through.” Read more
Spokane Public Schools’ board agreed Wednesday to ask voters in February to consider paying more taxes in a levy to compensate for potential state cuts to K-12 education. The region’s largest district is not alone. Read more
Britain Webb has been homeless twice while attending University High School. Domestic violence forced the 17-year-old’s mother and siblings out of their Spokane Valley apartment the first time, Webb said. The second time, their house burned down. Through all his turmoil, school has been a constant. “Going to school is a very big part of life in general,” Webb said. “That’s how you get through it. … Being at school was pretty much the highlight of my day.” Read more
School buses could become scarce in parts of Washington as the state grapples with budget shortfalls. Among the list of cuts Gov. Chris Gregoire is considering: State funds to help transport students to and from school could be eliminated. Although not one of Gregoire’s preferred cuts, it would save $220 million and is on her list of ideas to deal with a $2 billion budget shortfall. Read more
Campaign contributions for elected offices in state, county and city governments are limited to a maximum of $1,600. But smaller political races, such as school board, fire commissioner, park board and water district commissioner, have no limits. Washington voters in 1992 overwhelmingly approved restrictions on donations to legislative candidates and the law was expanded last year to include all county, city council and mayoral candidates. Read more
The Spokane Education Association, the union for more than 3,000 Spokane Public Schools employees, placed ads featuring local candidate endorsements in a publication distributed in the district’s elementary schools – a violation of state law and district policy. In September’s issue of the Kids News, the union’s monthly ad had an explanation of why the union endorses candidates and listed the union’s choices for school board and Spokane City Council. In October, the same space displayed the three endorsed candidates’ answers to three questions. Read more
Despite failing nearly every class since the sixth grade, Tyler Thompson is now a freshman at a Sandpoint high school. When his mother questioned school administrators in two North Idaho school districts about why they were continuing to send her son on to the next grade level every year, she remembers their explanations focused on his size and age – he’s 15 years old, 6-foot-5 and built like a linebacker. Read more
Spencer Enquist knows working in Shadle Park High School’s student-run espresso shop could give him an edge over other applicants at Starbucks. At Bagpipers Bistro, the 17-year-old has learned the importance of customer service; how to operate a computerized cash register and handle money; how to work an espresso machine and make coffee drinks; and the necessity of cleanliness. Read more
Megan Elliott is an experienced elementary school teacher, but she wasn’t prepared for an overcrowded kindergarten class. “We are just actually getting to the point where we can function,” said Elliot, who has 29 children in her class at Spokane’s Whitman Elementary School. “It will be easier when the class is smaller.” Read more
Nutrition directors in Spokane Public Schools, Mead and Coeur d’Alene school districts have worked hard in recent years to make breakfast and lunch options better for students. Pizza, for example, is one of the most popular choices for elementary school lunches; to make it healthier nutritionists use whole wheat or whole-grain crust and low-fat mozzarella. That’s why school nutritionists here feel like they’re prepared for new National School Lunch Program guidelines that go into effect early next year. The program will closely follow new federal nutrition guidelines, which suggest people eat more fruits and vegetables, eat 50 percent more whole grains and switch to fat-free or 1 percent milk. Read more
Students attending Rogers High School might be groaning a little louder than other Spokane teens about the fast-approaching school year. That’s because they start earlier than any other high school in the region’s largest district. Additionally, each school day has been extended by 30 minutes. Read more
The percentage of students taking remedial math classes at Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College is an eye-popping statistic. Of the 2009-’10 graduates from Spokane Public Schools who were admitted to the community colleges, 86.8 percent required remedial math after taking placement tests. For Central Valley School District students it was 92.4 percent, and for Mead School District students, 81.1 percent. Read more