5:07 PM: We’re at Seattle Public Schools headquarters, where the School Board is meeting as a “committee of the whole.” The parents involved with Kids Not Cuts – formed after word last week that teacher positions would be cut at more than two dozen schools around the city – came to demand a few minutes of the board’s time. We walked in a moment after the meeting started, and what ensued is what you see below:
If you can’t watch the video, the parents asked for 10 minutes to speak to the board before their agenda – with no related items – moved on. Board leadership refused, and eventually adjourned the meeting to a smaller room nearby. All but board member Sue Peters left. Several parents, including two from Schmitz Park, stayed to talk with her, as did most if not all of the media there (including us). When that conversation left and Peters headed to the other room, reporters and photographers were told it was at capacity and they could not go inside. That was being challenged vigorously when the board members decided to come back into the auditorium. Right now the meeting has resumed and at least two dozen parents remain; the agenda item under discussion involves the City of Seattle levy-funded Preschool Program, which is reported to include two “under-enrolled” SPS classrooms right now. One parent found that ironic, to say the least, and got up to again demand time with the board; president Sherry Carr said there will be a break during this meeting, at which time parents can talk with board members. More irony was pointed out by parents as Carr went on to explain procedure and how tonight’s agenda had to be published in advance; she invited parents to address the board next Wednesday, while the parents pointed out that’s too late, as the teacher moves/cuts have to be finalized before then.
5:33 PM: We have to get back to West Seattle; parents remain here, and citywide media too, so we’ll find out later what happens here. And if you missed it, here’s our earlier coverage, including the early-afternoon media briefing about the cuts/changes.