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Seattle students walk out over teacher transfers

Seattle students and Councilmember Kshama Sawant have called for a city-wide walkout Tuesday opposing teacher transfers within the district.

Students in Seattle walked out of class Tuesday as they protested staffing adjustments in schools across the district.

On Monday morning, students at Nova High School were joined by Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant as they called for a citywide walkout.

District officials say no one at Seattle Public Schools is losing their contract or job.

A statement from the district came after hearing concerns from parents and students over "staffing adjustments" being made following a projected $7.5 million shortfall due to a declining enrollment.

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According to the district, some schools may see an increase in staff to accommodate additional students, while staff in other schools may be moved because enrollment was lower than expected. Principals "may need to adjust the master schedule and class lists to accommodate the final student enrollment."

A total of 33 teachers will "be displaced from their jobs," according to an email from Sawant's office. Ten cuts to building staff will be made at the high school level, according to the email.

But that doesn't mean teachers are losing their jobs, according to the district.

“We understand that any change to staffing and school schedules is frustrating for staff and families," a statement from the district reads. "A race and equity lens was used to support our schools with the highest need. While the need was greater than our available resources, we were able to stabilize some staffing and minimize greater disruptions for some schools. For example, NOVA. They should have had 2.8 [full-time equivalent positions] pulled based on their student enrollment counts. They were mitigated and the pull was reduced to 2.0 FTE."

"This year we don’t have as much financial flexibility to keep schools whole and pay for staff at under enrolled schools. We need to move teachers to schools with higher than anticipated enrollment. This is not a reduction in force or a cut, teachers will still have contracts."

"Last year we were able to mitigate schools, like NOVA with low enrollment, at a much higher level. This year not only are our actual student counts under projection (724 students), this is the first year in 10 years that we are seeing a drop in overall student enrollment. Our neighboring districts are also seeing lower actuals than projections. It is something as a region we will need to investigate and better understand.”

Seattle Public Schools were expecting 53,667 students this year. By the sixth day of school, enrollment was 52, 943.

Teacher allocations

Schools receiving additional teacher allocations:

Cedar Park (1.0)

Emerson Elem (1.0)

Gatewood Elem (1.0)

Lafayette Elem (1.5)

Loyal Heights Elem (1.0)

Madrona K-5 (1.0)

North Beach Elem (1.0)

Olympic Hills Elem (1.5)

Eckstein MS (1.0)

Chief Sealth HS (1.0)

Rainier Beach HS (1.0)

Total adds:


Schools with reduced teacher allocations (note: some positions are currently not filled):

Arbor Heights Elem (1.0)

Cascadia Elem (1.0)

Daniel Bagley Elem (1.0)

Franz Coe Elem (1.5)

Genesee Hill/Schmitz Park (1.5)

John Hay Elem (1.0) - Vacancy

John Muir Elem (1.0) - Vacancy

Lawton Elem (1.0)

Leschi Elem (1.0)

Lowell Elem (1.0) - Vacancy

Montlake Elem (1.0)- Vacancy

Queen Anne Elem (2.0)

Thurgood Marshall Elem (1.0)- Vacancy

View Ridge Elem (1.0)

Viewlands Elem (1.0)- Vacancy

Whittier Elem (1.0)

Broadview-Thomson K-8 (1.0)

Catherine Blaine K-8 (2.0)

Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (0.5)

Salmon Bay K-8 (0.5)

Meany MS (1.0)- Vacancy

Mercer MS (1.0)

Franklin HS (1.0)- Vacancy

Garfield HS (1.0)

Roosevelt HS (2.0)

Interagency (2.0) - Vacancy (NOTE: This was already adjusted earlier in the year.)

Nova (2.0)

World School (1.0)