Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: Don't Blame The Republicans

Caffeinated News & Gossip featuring: Teachers eye deal, WSDOT snubs Seattle, and Wall Street meh on Nokia.

By Morning Fizz September 3, 2013

1. Late this afternoon, Seattle teachers' union members will vote on a tentative deal that union negotiators and the school board came up with over the Labor Day weekend.

The sides had been at odds during negotiations into the weekend after union members rejected an offer from the district last Monday. And as late as Saturday, after several days of talks, but no agreement, the district sent an email to parents saying a mediator had been called in and warning that school may not start on time; school is supposed to start tomorrow. 

The sides disagreed over teacher evaluations, the length of the school day for elementary school teachers, and the size of caseloads for psychologists and therapists.

Neither side has released details of the proposed agreement, but last week a School District negotiator told PubliCola that the district had dropped one controversial demand that elementary teachers give up a weekly hour of paid collaboration and planning time. (That demand came in conjunction with a half hour unpaid increase at the end of the school day for elementary school teachers.)

The dispute over teacher evaluations—whether student improvement should be a specific part of the evaluations—has reportedly been the biggest sticking point. Teachers wanted to scrap the 2010 agreement that had made student testing a part of evaluations and instead default to less specific rules that the state adopted subsequently in 2012.

2. Last week, we reported that despite a WSDOT study showing that King County contributes a full third of the money that goes to the state transportation budget, but gets less money back from the state than it contributes, a series of seven community meetings around the state hosted by the state senate transportation committee has shortchanged Seattle, which won't get a single meeting.

Don't blame the Republicans, who control the state senate, though.

In an August 8 letter from senate transportation committee chair Sen. Curtis King (R-14, Yakima) to WSDOT director Lynn Peterson, Sen. King requested a Seattle meeting.

WSDOT rejected that idea.

Snarky comment: But maybe the reason WSDOT bailed on Seattle is because the pending transportation package does too; the $10.5 billion package that was on the table last session had nothing in it for Seattle except for a proposal to tax itself to prevent Metro bus cuts.

3. ... And survey says? Microsoft stock down after Nokia announcement.


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