Here is the truth about the Seattle Public Schools plan to close a bunch of elementary schools. It has very little to do with saving money. It has everything to do with increasing revenues.
That’s a fact.
If our local editorialists who have been so quick to back up the district’s plans would actually talk to some district officials — off the record — they will be candidly told that the district never expected to save much money, if any, from this round of closures. What the architects of closure policy will tell you is that if the district complies with demands from state legislators to consolidate schools — thus making a show of fiscal responsibility — they believe the district will be rewarded with a big pile of state money.
Again, that is fact.
Indeed, Superintendent Raj Manhas’ preliminary closure plan has reduced savings estimates to a little over $2 million a year, and it’s fair to be skeptical even of that. With half that money being reinvested in the remaining schools, we have only about $1 million a year towards closing our long term structural budget deficit… barely a drop in the bucket.
I am being asked to disrupt my daughter’s education and sacrifice my neighborhood school for the good of all the children… when really, from the start, this closure plan has mostly been about providing political cover for gutless legislators who refuse to make the tough choices necessary to fully fund basic K-12 education statewide.
You’d think there was a story there that the local media might be interested in pursuing? Apparently not.