Equity Lens Needs Some Focussing

“We’ve been overstaffed. We’re working real hard on figuring what the right staffing level is.” — Cathy Mincberg in today’s Tribune, justifying deep staffing cuts at Jefferson, Madison and Ockley Green, and effective cuts at Peninsula.

The Trib article, by Jennifer Anderson, notes that Peninsula is getting an additional 1.27 FTE next year, but doesn’t mention that this increase will need to cover not just the added eighth grade class, but also the new “enrichment” requirement, as reported here last week.

Peninsula parent (and PPS Equity participant) Nicole Leggett understands this, even if district administrators and board members do not. “The increase is so teensy,” she says in the Trib, of Peninsula’s FTE budget. “That’s just one little thing, a crumb, not the darn cookie. We don’t have what we need.”

Board member David Wynde is also quoted, basically blaming declining enrollment and saying things are tough all over, which has a kernel of truth.

But things are especially bad in the Jefferson, Madison, Marshall and Roosevelt clusters, where enrollment has been artificially drained by the transfer policy, not demographics. The cost of this transfer policy is thusly born, in terms of reduced opportunity, by the students who do not transfer, and who have dramatically fewer middle school options than students living in wealthier clusters.

How does this look through the equity lens?

Steve Rawley published PPS Equity from 2008 to 2010, when he moved his family out of the district.

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