Wait, what?! Here’s just a few issues that COULD be solved with Superintendent Nyland’s $13,000 Raise.


“My raise is not going to solve any of the issues we have on the table. I’ve done better than anyone else and I will take the smallest raise in the district as far as I know,” said Nyland.

It’s hard to believe, but Superintendent Nyland has been the head of Seattle Public Schools for a little over a year. One things for sure, it’s certainly been memorable.

Here’s some of the highlights:

Superintendent Nyland, without the consent of the school board, signed a contract with The Gates Foundation.

Another highlight was Nyland’s threat to pull the license of any teacher at Nathan Hale who refused to administer the SBAC. That nasty bit didn’t make it into Nyland’s State of the District Address. He also forgot to mention the 76.1% of SPS 11th graders who opted out of the English Language Arts test (ELA) and 80.5% juniors who refused the math portion of the SBAC. Nyland was enthusiastic about Seattle’s overall SBAC scores, even though the state board had voted over the summer to lower the cut score from 3.0 to a 2.5.

There’s also the district’s botched contract negotiations with SEA, leading to the first teacher strike in 30 years. This was followed one month later by the district miscalculating student enrollment, resulting in staff cuts, or in district parlance “reassignment”, at “25 or something” schools across the district.

Remember Director Carr and Peaslee’s editorial in the Seattle Times about how the district just didn’t have the money to give striking teachers a raise?

We simply do not have the funds to meet current demands by the Seattle Education Association. The district contract offer is $61 million over the three years of the contract. SEA is asking for a combined total of $123 million. We can’t spend all of our reserves. This is what the McCleary ruling looks like on the ground, at the local school level.

Guess who wrote the BAR to give Nyland a raise? Yep, Carr and Peaslee. Never mind that Nyland already makes more money that the Mayor of Seattle or the Governor of Washington State.

Now that I’ve finished my mini performance review, let’s get to the question of what sort of classroom centered issues need to be put on Nyland’s table. Here’s a few ideas to get the conversation started:

Teachers spend an average of $513 a year of their own money for classroom supplies, books, and professional development. Nyland’s raise would cover these out of pocket expenses for 26 teachers in the district.

Seattle Public Schools has 2,982 homeless students. Teachers at Middle College would use their own money to put homeless students in hotels because these kids were often harassed by adults in shelters. Remember Middle College? It was the life saving program at High Point that Nyland closed. Here’s a thought. Let’s use Nyland’s $13,000 a year raise to create a fund that provides safe housing for our homeless students?

The West Seattle Food Bank provides weekend food packs for 100 students from five schools. The Seattle Foundation supplies some funding for this program. Nyland’s $13,000 a year would go a long way toward keeping this essential service going.

What problem would $13,000 a year solve at your kid’s school?

Let us know in the comments.

-Carolyn Leith


8 thoughts on “Wait, what?! Here’s just a few issues that COULD be solved with Superintendent Nyland’s $13,000 Raise.

  1. Attention all you professional investigative journalists. Start peeling the onion surrounding the Seattle School District Central Office and you may find your path to a Pulitzer Prize. You will find arrogance, total unconcern for teachers and students, refusal to communicate, a human resources staff that doesn’t understand the word”human”, an ivory tower mind set and complete disdain for the “outside” world. And that’s just the first layer. Journalistic fame awaits you. Get busy, you can do it.

  2. The Seattle Schools district’s “reassignment” of teaching staff resulted in a slated reduction of 2.4 FTE at a recently opened middle school. The school’s administration exhausted its funds to retain 1.0 FTE, but now the teachers post on DonorsChoose.org to obtain supplies for their classes.

    The amount of Superintendent Nyland’s raise could fulfill the school’s DonorsChoose projects for a few months.

  3. How about Orca cards for students who live within two miles of the school? The students from Rainier Beach made a compelling argument for that and 13,000 would cover the cost for Orca cards for quite a few kids.

  4. I am dismayed at the forced resignation of Queen Anne principal, David Elliott, as well.

    The public was told that Principal Elliott was forced to resign because he didn’t complete his teacher evaluations. While a principal must complete teacher evaluations, I note that Mr. Elliott was not the only principal that failed to complete all evaluations. It appears this principal was singled-out.

    Given the superintendent threatened to remove teaching certifications from Nathan Hale teachers, I am concerned about a culture of fear and intimidation.

    I am also dismayed that there was an attempt to dismantle Creative Approach Schools during contract negotiations. There was no public notice about this issue.

    Middle School is a school that serves homeless students and that school was closed to “low enrollment”. The public later learned that the school was disallowed from enrolling students.

  5. I am a teacher in Kentucky. $13,000 could help us buy supplies for student activities, buy school supplies for needy students, help shelter a few homeless students, I could go on and on. He shouldn’t take any raise at all. He should take a voluntary pay cut!!

  6. I’m not a parent at RBHS, but I’m sure $13,000 would go far to get RB kids the ORCA cards they need to get to school. I would also like to point out that the University of Washington only offered their faculty and staff a 3% increase. 5% seems way out of line for a public employee who caused that much turmoil.

  7. Although I retired from a most fulfilling 40 year career in June, I have been following the goings on at Seattle Public Schools over the last three months. The forced retirement of David Elliott from Queen Anne Elementary for his first and only professional error is inexcusable. It seem the district gets threatened by innovative leaders and their only recourse is to remove them, much to the detriment of the entire school community.
    Lately, I have been hearing that Superitendent Nyland is being considered for a raise in salary, something along the lines of 5%. And this from a Board that is soon to be replaced with newly elected members. I find the idea of the superintendent getting a raise at this time most distasteful. When the district is facing shortfalls in budget, when classrooms are overcrowded, and when the ‘leader’ finds it expedient to remove innovative leaders, the last thing that should be recommended is a raise.
    In Long Beach, California, the superintendent, Chris Steinhauser, actually declined a raise when there was a shortage of funding. Chris demonstrated true leadership by declining the raise and he sent a clear message of support to the entire teaching community.
    It would be one positive step for SPS if Superintendent Nyland were to step up and show some leadership by saying no to the recommended raise

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