Alpertopia is open!

Hello everyone, I’m happy to say that this blog has been something that I’ve wanted to open for a long time, the main structure is pretty much done, but certain aesthetic features will be changed and added in the near future. Welcome to Alpertopia. 🙂

The main impetus for this blog is to join the Seattle transit/transportation blogging community, but this will definitely have a personal shift of goings-on in my life and the communities around me. Look for specific sections to come soon.

I wanted to discuss the Shoreline School District just north of Seattle. Currently, the teachers’ unions SEA and SESPA are negotiating a pay increase relative to the increase of the cost of living in the greater Seattle area. They’re asking for a 4.3% increase in all areas of spending, synchronous with the state’s cost of living adjustment (COLA), currently staged at 3.9%. After lackluster funding over the last couple of years and the numerous layoffs of teachers for budgeting reasons, the union is asking for 4.3% in all areas, 0.4% more than that mandated by law. More detail can be found here.

The total cost to the school district is $1.4 million dollars. Through government mandated expenditures, $1.04 million can be covered by state money. The school district is hesitant to pay the remaining $429,000 to meet the terms set forward by the union (SEA seems to be pushing it more). The school district is currently in the red $1.7 million dollars even after a $149.5 million dollar grant was approved last year for facilities improvements. The school board plans to alleviate this discrepancy by removing several school programs, including, but not limited to, reduced bus routes/stops, elimination of all sports “C” teams, and elimination of the school’s traffic safety program. Additionally, the school district has saved (just) $1.4 million in closing two elementary schools (one of which I attended), and $4.7 million in pay cuts to all employees.

The $149.5 million dollar grant is specifically stipulated by law to only apply to program and facilities improvements, and the school district claims it cannot use those funds for primary purposes such as employee payroll. The refinishing of Shoreline stadium’s track and field as well as Shorecrest High School’s retrofitting of its field to astroturf was paid for by this grant.

It’s difficult to find discussion about this, but it’s frankly very appalling that our teachers have to fight over half a million dollars when we approved an eighth of a billion dollars to the very same school district. Some linking to other discussions would be awesome. 🙂

Have a safe Labor Day weekend!

One Response to “Alpertopia is open!”

  1. Alper says:

    This is a test so I can test my comments template! 🙂

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