11-29-2020  12:54 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
MLK Breakfast 2021 Save the Date
Lisa Loving of The Skanner
Published: 11 March 2009

Hundreds of complaints and as many as five separate lawsuits have been filed against the Seattle School District over its plans to save money by shuttering facilities.
Meanwhile, the District this week announced its schedule of quarterly meetings to take public input on its "Excellence for All" education plan.
Officials said in a statement that the hearings will involve discussions about development of a new Student Assignment Plan.
Phyllis Beaumonte, Seattle King County NAACP education chair, said this week that NACCP President James Bible has also filedas many as 200 complaints with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
"We also have lawyers who are going to be working with us on this, so we've done that, now we have to wait," Beaumonte said. "But that doesn't mean that we're going to sit and do nothing — we're going to continue to generate and mobilize parents to be very vigilant as it relates to the School Assignment Plan."
The old plan was declared unconstitutional in a U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down in June, 2007, which found that race could not solely be used to assign students to public schools.
In a blog posting dated Monday, March 9, Bible criticizes district officials for instituting policies that penalize students for their race.
"Whether you are poor, a minority or speak English as a second language our public school systems are intended to create opportunities that level the playing field," he writes. "It is unfortunate that the Seattle School District has forgotten the importance of providing quality education for all."
Bible cites statistics indicating, he argues, that a vast majority of children affected by the school closure plan are "minority, many speak English as a second language and many have learning disabilities."
Bible says that four of the five schools slated for closure are between 99 percent and 70 percent minority, while the fifth is 50.2 percent minority.
"It is also notable that these schools also served a disproportionate number of students in poverty," he writes. "During economic hard times public schools should not be balancing the budget on the backs of those that are poor and minority."
As he has for months, Bible argues that smaller class sizes should not be grounds for closure and consolidation, but rather should be embraced and supported by the district as better environments for learning.
"We should seize this opportunity to do better by our children instead of seeking to eliminate opportunity for disenfranchised populations," he writes. "The Schools that are now slated for closure were doing as well at educating children of color and the poor as any other schools. Instead of closing these schools we need to provide greater support."
District officials say they must find a way to close a projected $24 million shortfall in their operating budget for next school year.
Tuesday, district officials and staff at the Seattle schools' Alliance for Education, an independent, non-profit organization that supports district initiatives, announced they'd won $9 million in grants from local and national foundations in support of the district's five-year strategic plan, which they say will "expand college-ready coursework for students; real-time student data to drive decision-making; and stronger professional development opportunities for teachers, school leaders, and district officials."
Grant funds include $7.2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; $1.2 million from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation; $308,000 from Boeing; and $254,000 from The Stuart Foundation.
Upcoming public hearings by the Seattle School District are Saturday, March 21, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the John Stanford Center, Auditorium, 2445 3rd Ave. S.; Tuesday, March 24, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Urban Impact, Main Office, 7728 Rainier Ave. S.; and Thursday, March 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ballard High School library, 1418 N.W. 65th St.
For more information go to the Engagement section of the Strategic Plan Web page at http://www.seattleschools.org/area/strategicplan/engagement.html.
Read James Bible's blog at http://jbible-naacp.blogspot.com/.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Wisconsin recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirmed that Democrat Joe Biden won the state by more than 20,600 votes...   MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin finished a recount of its presidential results on Sunday, confirming Democrat Joe Biden's victory over President Donald Trump in the key battleground state. Trump vowed to challenge the outcome in court even before the recount concluded. Dane County was the second and last county to finish its recount, reporting a 45-vote gain for Trump. Milwaukee County, the state's other big and overwhelmingly liberal county targeted in a recount that Trump paid for, reported its results Friday, a 132-vote gain for Biden. Taken together, the two counties barely budged Biden's winning margin of about 20,600 votes.  “As we have said, the recount only served to reaffirm Joe Biden’s victory in Wisconsin," Danielle Melfi, who led Biden's campaign in Wisconsin, said in a statement to The Associated Press. Trump tweets he will sue With no precedent for overturning a result as large as Biden's, Trump was widely expected to head to court once the recount was finished. His campaign challenged thousands of absentee ballots during the recount, and even before it was complete, Trump tweeted that he would sue. “The Wisconsin recount is not about finding mistakes in the count, it is about finding people who have voted illegally, and that case will be brought after the recount is over, on Monday or Tuesday,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “We have found many illegal votes. Stay tuned!” Trump campaign officials didn't immediately respond to AP requests for comment on Sunday. The deadline to certify the vote is Tuesday. Certification is done by the Democratic chair of the Wisconsin Election Commission, which is bipartisan.  Drop boxes "illegal" suit says The Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a conservative group, has already filed a lawsuit against state election officials seeking to block certification of the results. It makes many of the claims Trump is expected to make. Gov. Tony Evers’ attorneys have asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss the suit. Evers, a Democrat, said the complaint is a “mishmash of legal distortions” that uses factual misrepresentations in an attempt to take voting rights away from millions of Wisconsin residents.  Another suit filed over the weekend by Wisconsin resident Dean Mueller argues that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. Trump lawsuits have failed Trump’s attorneys have complained about absentee ballots where voters identified themselves as “indefinitely confined,” allowing them to cast an absentee ballot without showing a photo ID; ballots that have a certification envelope with two different ink colors, indicating a poll worker may have helped complete it; and absentee ballots that don’t have a separate written record for its request, such as in-person absentee ballots. Election officials in the two counties counted those ballots during the recount, but marked them as exhibits at the request of the Trump campaign.  Trump’s campaign has already failed elsewhere in court without proof of widespread fraud, which experts widely agree doesn’t exist. Trump legal challenges have failed in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
    Read More
  • Pennsylvania justices also remarked on the lawsuit's staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. “They have failed to allege that even a single mail-in ballot was fraudulently cast or counted,” Justice David Wecht wrote in a concurring opinion
    Read More
  • The number of COVID-19 related hospitalizations also continues to surge with 529 people hospitalized — a 209% increase since the start of the month
    Read More
  • Of the 33,035 vehicle stops Portland police made in 2019, 18% were for Black drivers and 65% were for white drivers. White people make up 75.1% of the population, while Black people make up 5.8%
    Read More
  • Oregon wholesale tree farmers and small cut-your-own lots are reporting strong demand and seeing more people earlier than ever
    Read More
  • The police bureau uses a complicated methodology in reporting data
    Read More
  • Groups representing Oregon foodservice and lodging businesses had asked the judge to modify the governor’s order
    Read More
OHA Safe Strong final
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Kevin Saddler