Kent Issues At A Glance

  • Kent Education Association members are concerned about reducting overcrowded classes, increasing time available to work with students, reducing the administrative busywork that is crowding out teaching duties, and receiving the professional respect from administrators so we can use our skills and experience to best help raise individual student achievement in our classes.
  • When teachers voted to strike on August 26th, pay was not their motivating factor.  Still, pay in Kent is inadequate:  Kent is the fourth largest district in the state.  Teacher pay in Kent is the lowest in the entire Puget Sound metro area, and ranks 80th statewide, trailing districts both large and small.  Parents and businesses understand the importance of remaining competitive, and Kent is losing great teachers to nearby districts with higher pay, lower class sizes, and great professional respect.
  • Kent teachers are not asking for solutions that the Kent School District can’t afford or that will raise taxes.  While other districts are in financial turmoil, it turned out to be a money-making year in Kent.  The district itself expects to end the year with at least $21 million in the bank, and projections are that it could be as high as $25 million.  The district acknowledges that the $21 million reserve is nearly $3 million above where the district started the past school year.  So while other districts who saved during good times are now spending their reserves in bad times, Kent continues to grow its reserves while cutting programs, staff, and teachers needed to ensure a quality educationin Kent.  Even Kent’s two Washington state legislators agree that this is not the right course, as you can see here.
  • Kent teachers are fighting to make Kent’s classrooms and Kent’s students a priority for Kent’s administrators.   Kent’s class-size caps are larger than comparable districts, even districts that pay teachers more.  Kent ranks lowest among comparable districts in the percentage of money it spends on classroom expenses for teaching and teaching support.  Kent ranks highest among comparable districts for the percentage of the district budget spent on administrators.  Kent ranks lowest in the region for teacher pay.  Kent ranks highest among comparable districts in administrator’s pay.  This fight is about restoring the Kent School Board’s focus to Kent’s classrooms.
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2 Responses to “Kent Issues At A Glance”

  1. ACL Says:

    Be a good example to the kids and obey the Judges ruling. Find another way to settle your disagreements. This is what you teach to our kids. Practice what you teach, please. For the kids sake.

  2. Scott Says:

    As a future teacher I am curious to hear from Kent why I should consider KSD as a place to work. As I understand it at this point, KSD combines mediocre wages (currently it requires a masters + between 7 and 10 years of experience to earn a living wage for the area) with management that comes out of “Dilbert”. Indeed, the boss from Dilbert appears to have slightly more respect for the engineers than KSD admin does for the teachers, and Dilbert apparently gets to clock out and go home when his work hours are up.

    Indeed, it is very surprising to me that KSD has managed to retain the excellent teachers that they have. I suppose as they retire the district will have problems replacing them. I certainly do not forsee myself working for KSD – with a MA I have no need to put up with being insulted all the time.

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