Another KEA Member Disappointed With KSD’s Initial Proposals

April 29, 2009
 
Kent School District Board of Directors:
 
I was disheartened to read the proposal offered by the KSD bargaining team.  On top of the 130 layoffs our district expects to see next month (even after attending the March school board meeting where the board gave the impression that RIFS would be given at the LAST resort), KSD is proposing an 11% pay cut (after taking away the effective ed. hours which is 3.89% of base salary, cuts from benefits 7.22%, and the loss of COLA). How is this possible? I understand the economy is discouraging for everyone, but you are asking me to take on even more students for even less pay. Other than my love of my profession, what incentive do I have to Successfully Prepare All Students For Their Future?
 
The item on the KSD proposal regarding the possibility of eliminating the right of KEA and its members to choose the insurance and benefits that will best fit the needs of our members and their families is quite disturbing.  For me personally, this is frightening, as there is only one insurance provider that will cover the costs needed for my cochlear implant and supplies. Should you choose the wrong provider for me, I will be sorely affected.
 
Awarding or punishing teachers based on WASL scores (SIP) is also an insult. Certainly you know that teachers can not control every child’s environment away from school. I do what I can in the classroom. Are you telling me that I will be punished for wanting to work with children who attend a Title I school who may be constantly hungry, move three times in one year, or live in an unstable environment while sleeping on a trampoline? Of course we all want children to succeed, and they will, but not all children will be successful based on WASL tests. Until there are assessments for all intelligences, this is not a reasonable request.
 
I want you to know that I am disappointed that the District would make such a proposal. The Kent School District provides the lowest pay in the Puget Sound area, and to reduce it further is an insult to the value of each member of the professional staff. Proposing rollbacks, rather than taking steps to bring compensation up to the level paid by every other district in our area, is a move in the wrong direction.
 
Sincerely,
Dr. Emma Goliff, Ed.D.

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2 Responses to “Another KEA Member Disappointed With KSD’s Initial Proposals”

  1. Meo Says:

    To the author of this letter: You have articulated what many of us are feeling. Long gone are the days of respecting teachers in the KSD. I just heard that three other area school districts WILL NOT LAY OFF ONE TEACHER. Instead, they are cutting administration positions. Perhaps, it’s time KSD look to their neighbors for some role modeling.

  2. LenDawson Says:

    I’ve accepted that we’re losing some teachers (the board made it clear from the beginning that was the plan with their highly deceptive way of calling it “increase class size by 2” instead of the more concerning “Fire 40 teachers” that would have gotten no support from the community). But what you CANNOT do is tell teachers they are going to get more students and more work to do because their friends and colleagues are getting fired and then bargain for them to do it for LESS money! KSD needs to understand that one day in the near future schools will be hiring again and the economy won’t be that bad and the good teachers in Kent will have the option to keep teaching in a district that does not respect or adequately pay their teachers or move on to somewhere that does.

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