Sunday, April 5, 2009

Unintentional Cruelty - Superintendent Style

I came from a district in Texas in which I taught at one school for 5 years. In those five years, I had four different superintendents, 2 different principals, and 12 different vice-principals. It made for a rocky environment. So when I came here, I reveled in the stability. One superintendent, committed to staying with this district, and a superintendent that did things like come to school on random days, and occasionally would stop by a staff meeting. She seemed very nice and down to earth, and after the fiasco in Texas, I loved that.

But the new is worn off now.....this is the same woman who did not cancel school when the weathermen warned people across Seattle to STAY OFF THE ROAD.

And our education budget in Washington is something like $9 billion short, and no solutions in sight, so we have been warned that no cost-of-living pay increase will be happening next year and some positions have already been cut. Which is kind of stinky, but I can deal with that, I understand it. But then on Friday, we got the following email. I am not posting ALL of it, but I am posting some pertinent parts: (Note - my snarky remarks are in pink)
From: Superintendent H.
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 4:57 PM
To: All Staff
Subject: Happy Spring (NOTE SUBJECT MATTER)

Dear School District Staff,

As we prepare for Spring Break next week, I want to send you an update regarding the pending budget cuts as a result of the recently released House and Senate legislative budgets.

While I cannot make any promises, I want to assure you that we are exploring every option to avoid a RIF (reduction in force) in our district. We are asking for input from stakeholders, community members and district leaders to make the very best recommendations regarding the loss of the state funds. I encourage your participation in community budget meetings which will be scheduled the week after the break.

In addition to the cut of I-732 (provides for about $2000 a year in "extra" pay) we are planning for the likely elimination of I-728 support. This funding is used to pay primarily for 66 additional teachers to reduce class size in elementary and secondary schools. These will obviously have an impact in the classroom (REALLY??). However, we are working to explore every option and available resource to minimize this impact.

The School Board and I share your deep concerns for the stability of our schools and maintaining a quality program for all students. However, our state system for funding public education is collapsing.

By the end of April, we should have the final decisions (including a compromised budget) from the state. Undoubtedly, you will hear a great deal about the preliminary budgets, information on decisions and the direction our elected officials are taking.

BUT HERE'S THE KICKER.....Remember all that bad news up there? How our funding will be cut and how 66 teachers may lose their jobs???? Remember all that? Here's how she ended her email......
I wanted to share two new photos that, hopefully, will make you smile (she does this a lot...I know what all her animals look like) – I took them on my trip to Borneo, Malaysia (and I can assure you she wasn't doing research for school funding!) in February. Here’s hoping for great spring weather in the coming week… sunshine and smiles, and wish you all an enjoyable, restful, well-deserved spring break. (After I broke your heart and your spirit by telling you you'll all be broke and having nervous breakdowns next year)
Superintendent H

The pictures were of monkeys. I am not going to reprint them here, but trust me, they were monkeys.
Back to me here, does anyone else find this insensitive?


Rikki said...

I think my head may actually be on fire I'm so angry for you.

stacie k said...

yes. the people at the top are usually so far removed from reality it's just pathetic.

Melissa B. said...

They're all the same, just packaged differently. People like that need to be locked away in a closet for several years until they come to their senses & see life the way we regular folks do.

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

Remind me to send you a copy of the one we got. They (the sups) might be married. Yes, it was that bad.

Finding Normal said...

UGH. So clueless. What a moron!

Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) said...

Our district is going thru this crap too. We have a new Superintendant, and he also didn't find it necessary to cancel school on the worst snow of the summer. Superintendants drom other districs refer to him as 'Brass Balls' and talk about him having 'Short Man Syndrome'. He promised our teachers that he WAS NOT cutting jobs, then dropped the bomb in 6 contracted employees (it's a very small district). One person he RIFed was the Assistant Superintendant. He tried to RIF our Family Liason, but so many people showed up to complain at the board meeting that the school board made him rethink that decision. Pissed off parents=vetod levy.

Did I mention that I'm not impressed with him?

Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) said...

Wow..."worst snow of the summer"??? Yea, I need to go to bed now! lol

Brittany Ann said...

It does seem insensitive. I stopped by from SITS. And you blog just reaffirms for me that strange and troublesome times we are in right now. Good luck. I hope everything pans out well for you in the end.

kel said...

Visiting from SITS.. That seems very "out of touch" . Hope it works out for you.

I like your blog though! I love the colors!!

Pixeltrash said...

Sorry to hear about the funding problems. Seems a lot of people are feeling this way. Stinks!

Ronnica said...

That seems a little mixed up and she's monkeying around with your jobs!

Colleen said...

One word...