Friday, September 4, 2015

Seattle school board candidate director district 1 - Michael Christophersen

I'm a father of three with over 35 years of combined experience with the Seattle public schools, as a student, parent and advocate. I'm running not just because of my roots and children, but because I believe that education is a fundamental right.

If elected I will hold myself accountable for student's outcomes providing meaningful oversight of policies, insuring our district complies with all city, state and federal laws.

Here are just a few of my ideas for change:

Improving Outcome For Students With Learning Disabilities

With nearly 5,000 Seattle Public schools students having been identified as having some form of dyslexia and an estimated 5,000 more students unidentified, it is critical that we implement scientific approaches to these challenges in education. Earlier this year I presented the district with a professional development proposal from a respected NIH researcher in literacy.

Lowering The Dollar Amount Needed For Board Approval

Currently the district employees can spend up to $249,000 without board approval, I would lower the amount to $20,000.

Revoking Attorney Client Privilege
Currently the district uses attorney client privilege as a shield preventing the public from knowing the facts around various issues and to obfuscate from parents what is really going on with their child's education. I would propose that the board enact a policy requiring the district's legal department to obtain board approval before invoking attorney client privilege.

Lowering Central Administrative Cost
Once in office, I would conduct a review of all 838 + central administrative positions then work with the board and the superintendent to redirect  unnecessary administrative expenditures to our classrooms.

I'm ready to do what is needed to provide an equitable, meaningful, and fundamentally sound education for all students and I need your vote to do it and your support over the next 4 years.


Michael Christophersen


  1. Financial accountability is needed but a $20,000 amount needing board approval is unrealistic. The board would be spending an inordinate amount of time looking at purchases.

    A better approach would be to put the District Checkbook online.

    See how Peyton Wolcott made this happen in Texas school districts HERE Then we would know exactly where the money was going and the board could devote its time to directing the school system.

    Financial Accountability

  2. Thank you for the great idea. The main reason for lowering amount needing board approval centers around the financial agreements the district enters into without the boards involvement. There are also many law suit settlements under $249,000 that escape board scrutiny. I like your checkbook idea, but it seems too late to stop something once it's all ready paid out.

    1. " I like your checkbook idea, but it seems too late to stop something once it's all ready paid out."

      On the contrary, once the online checkbook accountability system was set up... Spenders would know that the spending would be made public. Spending decisions would be immediately altered.

      The Board could then supervise the Superintendent's financial performance without being accused of the dreaded "Micro-Management".

      Financial Accountability