Thursday, June 07, 2007

School District Fires 35 Teachers ... Buys $15,000 Espresso Machine

The good news for us in Vegas is that we have jobs for 35 teachers, and we still prefer a regular cup of joe.

Naturally, questions are being asked as to why 35 teachers lost their jobs because of budget constraints, but the district can afford to buy a $15,000 espresso machine. The district is saying that the machine will pay for itself in 20 months.

What more do you expect from Seattle?

Seattle Times:

A new $15,000 automated espresso machine provides what they say are Starbucks-quality mochas, lattes and Americanos to district staff for less than Starbucks prices. There's even an array of syrups to flavor employees' espresso drinks.

The school district says the espresso machine will pay for itself in about 20 months and then generate revenue for the food-service operation, which is self-sustaining and does not take money from the general fund. And 5 percent of the proceeds will go into the district budget to support teachers and students, said Food Services Program Director Barbara Lloyd.

But coming at a time when the school district is cutting its budget $4.5 million and eliminating 35 teaching positions, a high-end espresso machine may seem a luxury.

"It's incredibly extravagant when you've got [Superintendent Nick] Brossoit running around talking about how dire the budget is and how class sizes are getting bigger. That's not the time to be buying an expensive espresso machine," said Al Lyon, a teacher at Lynnwood Elementary School.

Looks like there may be a problem with the revenue generated from the machines.

Lloyd said she'd love to get each school an espresso machine so teachers would have quality coffee drinks available during the day, but state law requires money from such sales to go the Associated Student Body at each school, meaning the district couldn't recoup the cost.

Seattle seems to have put their coffee above the needs of the students.


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