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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The District 2 school board race is a battle between fear and anger versus hope.

I know what you are thinking, that's a lot of hyperbole there, but I don't think you will feel the same way after you read the post.

A teacher was surplussed from Nick Howland's son's school and he put up the following note on Facebook.

Now I get frustrated about surpluses too. Especially when the state dictates it. I also think in the past the district has not been responsive to the needs of teachers which is something they have tried to rectify this year.

Mr. Howland's implication however is that the district has budgeted poorly and as a result teachers are being cut, his son's school is paying a price.

I didn't think that was the case. I thought after the ten day count the school didn't have enough students to support all its teachers which happens quite often, and more on that in a bit. So I sent them the screenshot above and asked the district.

 I was wondering if Howland was correct and a lack of fiscal responsibility led to the surplus or if it was something else like lower than projected enrollment?   

Just a heads up, whatever you rely I may use on the blog Education Matters.

Thank You

Well today the got back to me.

  Hello Chris, hope the new school year is going well for you.

As you know, this is the time of the year when instructional shifts are taking place throughout the district due to actual student enrollment versus projected student enrollment.

To provide some context – though I’m sure you’re familiar with this process – the number of instructional staff at a school is based on the number of students enrolled in that school. Because we are a choice district, we have to use a projected student enrollment figure to staff schools at the beginning of the school year. However, after a few weeks, we are able to determine the actual student enrollment. Some schools may have a higher actual enrollment than projected, while others may have a lower actual enrollment. Instructional staff are reassigned based on actual student enrollment.

Hope this helps.
--Tracy Pierce

It's a shame that teachers have to be surplussed because of declining enrollment. The thing is this is a problem partly of Howland's making. These choice, privatization guys pushed to make the district a choice district and have welcomed charter schools hand over fist. Howland doesn't know it but this is a problem that has been affecting the west and north sides of town for a decade. Well now that chicken has come home to roost but rather than blame his monster for the declining enrollment at his son's school, he blames the district because that is what Howland does.

He wants people to be mad, he says, see the district didn't know how to budget and it cost my son's school a teacher and afraid, one out of eleven students will be a victim of violence if we continue at this rate, is another thing he sells on the stump and on his campaign page.

The truth is Howland doesn't know how surpluses work, and rather than finding out, he in a self serving way just blames the district.

How is that not troubling? Shouldn't we have a school board member who knows what he is talking about?

Elizabeth Anderson on the other hand, isn't out there selling fear and anger. She's selling a plan to train staff how to recognize students in crisis. She is out selling the need for more mental health resources. She isn't out there trying to make the citizens of district 2 afraid and angry, no she is trying to educate them about what our kids need.

Getting surplussed sucks, but there is a difference between a school not being able to support the same number of teachers and the district budgeting poorly. Howland obviously had no interest in learning that, and why should he when he thinks you being mad and afraid will get him your vote.

District 2, please prove him wrong.


  1. Maybe Howland should ask his friends at the Seaside Community Charter School that illegally endorsed him for School Board even though they are a "non-profit." Perhaps, just maybe his "cautious optimism" for charter schools increasing their enrollment while reducing public school enrollment is beginning to subside. It's funny how people don't give a shit until it actually affects them.

  2. Nick Howland has a lot of potential. Good guy, yes a lot of success and a conservative. I have a hard time understanding why CG generally sees the least accomplished as the best choice to lead schools.

    1. Scott did you not read the piece? He at best was willingly ignorant here, at best. Somebody like that should not be on the school board.

  3. What is a disgrace is that Howland obviously thinks this is a new problem. This has been going on forever and each year kids at schools all over the county are moved around when teachers are lost/added. Sorry to hear it has invaded the bubble of his precious magnet school. Maybe he should do a little research on what the issues really are in our schools.