KEA Teacher Letter to Local Newspapers

The following letter was sent recently to the Kent Reporter and other area newspapers:



Dear Editor,

As a teacher in the Kent School District I have been reading with interest the many articles that have recently run in the Kent and Covington Reporters about the Kent School District budget. I wanted to give you a few interesting points about the seemingly “fuzzy math” that I see in these articles.

In looking at the financial reports that come out monthly from the district and using the same figures that the school district sends to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), I see that in the past four years, the district’s actual ending fund balance has averaged well over five times the amount they budgeted to end with. For example, in 2006-07, they budgeted to end the year with $4,093,596 and actually ended the year with $23,010,066! And in 2007-08, they budgeted to end the year with $3,878,378 and actually ended the year with $18,291,096. Fuzzy math?

Additionally, I saw in the Covington Reporter recently that the Kent School District spends less than the state percent in Central Administration costs (State – 13.0% and Kent – 12.8%) Actually, that is correct. However it is not further stated that the Kent School District is actually second in a list of other school districts who have 20,000 or more students. Kent is in line right after Seattle, at 15%. We are second in line for central administration costs and fourth in size in the state. Even more interesting: Within these central administration costs is the fact that Kent School District spends $556 less per student in teaching and teaching support costs. Fuzzy math?

The Kent School District is only telling part of the story. The teachers in the district call on the Kent School District to tell the whole story. Transparency in reporting budget figures is something their employees and the community deserve.

Cindy Prescott

4th Grade Teacher and Kent Education Association Member




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