Surprised, troubled and dismayed. The range of emotions around the current situation our schools face grows each day.
I was on the west side of the state this last weekend, noting in several newspapers’ articles, West Side school districts’ and school boards’ decisions regarding teacher layoffs. Compare their actions with what is happening in Spokane Public Schools. Consider, Seattle – total RIFs (reductions in force) 70, of which 30 are certificated; Tacoma – none; Snohomish, Everett, Arlington, Edmonds – none.
Now, consider Spokane. Layoff notices issued to 238 teachers/certificated, reported in The Spokesman on Teacher Appreciation Day, is puzzling and needing explanation. SPS has fewer teachers than Seattle and issued eight times as many RIFs. Truly frustrating.
Seattle and Tacoma, both of whom also have had to deal with inadequate funding and financial crisis, respected their staff who work each day with the children of their districts, considered morale of staff and resisted the opportunity to issue RIFs to so many.
The crisis facing SPS board and administrators is not of their making; the Legislature is guilty of not fulfilling its paramount duty. It is board and administration who made the troubling decision to issue 238 RIF notices on Teacher Appreciation Day. Sad.