A few months ago, a new Seattle Schools Superintendent was announced and Jose Banda is his name. He said in his own words that he, “plans on taking it slow” to look at all the data. Supposedly, he likes reviewing the numbers/data before making the hard decisions. We of course have reported the issues with the previous Seattle Superintendent Maria Goodloe Johnson. I would like to give Jose Banda the benefit of a clean slate since he is just starting out but we unfortunately are already starting off on the wrong foot. I blame the Seattle School board and the City Council for this mess and you should also. I have said it time and time again on the Emerald City Journal and that changes in the School Districts must start at the top. Upper management spends all the money on themselves, and the pennies left are trickled down to the Teachers who are usually forced to pay for their classroom supplies (and other student expenses). This doesn’t just happen in Seattle; however, you’ll see this bad practice all over the state and the teachers just accept it as their problem. Teachers shouldn’t have to be ok with paying for their own supplies. That is not ok.
Previously, Maria Goodloe Johnson was being paid a fortune and it turns out Jose Banda got an even better deal. His annual salary (with 3-year contract) is $270,000. Are you kidding me? He also will be making (it’s unsure if this is additional or included) an annual $22,000 and $700 per month car expenses to help him out. Obviously, money is not an issue at the Schools here in Seattle! Seriously, it’s just corruption to pay something this much when the school could have hired 3 superintendents for that kind of money. 3 Superintendents working together to clean up the schools would have produced better results in the end.
Take note, you heard the complaint here first and when the question comes asking for more money (I expect that anytime), you’ll know who to ask to borrow a few bucks from (Welcome Jose Banda).
The press release indicates that during Wednesday’s School Board meeting (May 2), the full board anticipates formally identifying Mr. Banda as their preferred candidate, with a subsequent vote on the contract slated for May 16. Subject to approval, the incoming Superintendent would assume the role post-July 1. Mr. Banda is set to succeed Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who was dismissed last year amid a financial scandal. Notably, two other candidates for the superintendent position—Steven Enoch from San Ramon Valley, near San Francisco, and Sandra Husk from Salem-Keizer, Oregon—withdrew after their interviews. Mr. Banda brings with him four years of experience as superintendent of the Anaheim district, serving 20,000 students, while the Seattle district, where he is poised to serve next, is the largest in Washington, catering to over 47,000 students.
Update about Jose Banda: June 20, 2014, Jose Banda announced he was a finalist for Superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District and wouldn’t be renewing his contract in Seattle.