Teachers will be pulled from seven Seattle schools and reassigned to new buildings next Monday, as part of a district-wide staffing shake-up officials announced Thursday.
Five other buildings gained teachers in the shuffle, but another 17 schools had to close vacant positions, voluntarily reduce teachers' hours, or find money to pay for teachers whose jobs can no longer be supported due to lower-than-expected enrollments across the district.
All told, the shakeup impacted 29 schools and represents a net reduction of 21.5 full-time positions.
Seattle Public Schools administrators had projected the district would grow by nearly 1,100 students this year, so they divvied out funding for teachers accordingly to each school building. But only 411 new students showed up, forcing the district to reallocate staff.
The move riled parents, who questioned the need to reassign or close so many teacher positions in order to cover needs in only five schools—especially after school has already been in session for several weeks.
"We do understand the need to balance the budget. But we don’t understand why enrollment can’t be underestimated instead of overestimated. Perhaps the lure of ransoming PTA’s is too great," parent Jennifer Ogle said at Wednesday’s school board meeting, alluding to schools where parents raised funds to keep staffers in their buildings.
District officials have said no teacher is losing their job in this staffing adjustment.
"Some schools have enrollment changes at the grade level, as compared to projections, that generated the need to add staff in some schools but also reduce in other schools," district staffers wrote in a statement released Thursday.
The five schools adding staff members are:
- Green Lake — 1.0 addition
- Rainier View — 1.0 addition
- Viewlands — 1.0 addition
- Madison — 2.0 additions
- Hamilton — 1.0 addition
The seven schools who have been affected by the need to reassign a staff member are:
- Jane Addams — .4 partial displacement, 1.1 internal funds, 1 reassigned to Broadview Thomson — as part-time building designated substitute
- West Seattle Elementary — 1.0 displacement Reassigned to Lafayette
- North Beach Elementary — 1.0 displacement Reassigned to Bagley
- Louisa Boren STEM K-8 School — 1.0 displacement Reassigned to Rainier Beach
- Highland Park Elementary — 1.0 displacement Reassigned to Emerson as building designated substitute
- Dunlap Elementary — 1.0 displacement Reassigned to Kimball
- Bryant Elementary — 1.0 displacement Reassigned to Viewlands
Five schools had individuals choose to slightly reduce their contracts in order to remain at the school:
- Sand Point — .5 vacant position closed, .2 reduction, .3 funds restored with internal/external
- Wedgwood — .5 vacant position closed, reassigned to Roxhill as .5 building-designated sub
- Broadview Thomson — Vacant position closed, two staff reduced .5 each to job share
- Whitman — Vacant position closed, two employees reduced .2 each, .4 funds identified, .2 to be determined
- Madrona — K-8 .5 vacant position closed, two staff reduced .2 and .3 each
The following schools either closed vacant positions or found alternative funding:
- Alki — Retained in position due to community funding
- B.F. Day — Grade one combined, vacant position closed
- Beacon Hill — Vacant position closed
- Concord — Vacant position closed
- Bailey Gatzert — Funds restored with alternative funding
- Laurelhurst — Vacant position closed
- Lowell — Vacant position closed
- Martin Luther King — Vacant position closed
- Olympic View — Vacant position closed
- Queen Anne — Allocation had not been utilized yet
- Roxhill — Two vacant positions closed
- Denny — Alternate funding identified