The process of transferring about two dozen teachers to other buildings or positions will continue and be finalized by Oct. 26, Seattle Public Schools said.
Despite opposition from parent groups and some area lawmakers, Seattle Public Schools still plans to transfer about two dozen teachers to new schools, even after almost a month of school has passed.
All the teachers will be in their new positions by Oct. 26, district officials said Wednesday. School started Sept. 17. The deadline for principals to identify which teachers will be transferred is Friday, said Jacque Coe, district spokeswoman. The list of schools that will gain or lose teachers should be released by the end of the week.
“It’s a balancing act,” Coe said.
The district announced last week that it would be moving about two dozen teachers to other buildings or positions, largely as a result of lower-than-projected enrollment. The shortfall translates into a loss of about $4 million in revenue, district officials said. Districts receive state funding based on enrollment as of Oct. 1.
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Officials said the moves will save some money because they will move some of the teachers to open positions, which had been filled by substitutes. But no one will be laid off, as teachers are under contract.
District officials said the reassignments will balance staff between schools that have more students than projected, and those with less.
Parents and others have questioned the reshuffling. This week, parent groups held protests outside district headquarters, while a group of 11 Seattle-area lawmakers wrote a letter to the Seattle School Board asking them to postpone the readjustments.
Board President Sherry Carr and Vice President Sharon Peaslee wrote in a response that schools can’t retain teachers at schools with lower-than-expected enrollment or decrease class sizes without adequate funding.
But the district has yet to release a full list of affected schools, and its explanations for why aren’t clear.
When asked at a news conference Wednesday why there wasn’t a list, assistant superintendent Flip Herndon said “because we’re still working through the process.”
Local reporter: “So the decision’s not final yet?”
Herndon: “No, the decision is final, but we’re working through the process on the number of schools and the positions and how we’re trying to fill those positions.”
At least two schools have started fundraising to keep their teachers — Bryant and Alki elementaries — and Alki raised $90,000 over the weekend, meeting its goal.
At Schmitz Park Elementary, parents are circulating a petition that has about 960 online signatures.
Other area school districts also move teachers after the state’s official Oct. 1 enrollment count, but few, if any, have as many transfers as Seattle does this year.
Some, such as Bellevue and Northshore, have more students than they projected and didn’t end up moving any teachers.
Highline Public Schools moved one teacher this year, spokeswoman Catherine Carbone-Rogers said.