Kent Parents Coalition Emerges

A group of Kent parents have formed a coalition whose goal is to obtain the very best education available to our children and future KSD students.   These parents believe that the issues of overcrowded classrooms and excessive meetings detract from the teachers’ ability to help their children. 

Many parents in this coalition will be gathering with other community members today at noon at the Kent Regional Justice Center to lend their support to Kent teachers prior to the injunction hearing.  In addition, they are working to put more pressure on the Kent School District to focus on the bargaining table, rather than other distractions that will not bring an end to this strike.

If you are interested in joining this coalition or getting more information, you can use the following contact information to find out more. 

Email:  kentparentscoalition@gmail.com

Website/Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com and send Friend request to “KentParents.”   (You need a Facebook account first.)

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43 Responses to “Kent Parents Coalition Emerges”

  1. Education And Dreams Says:

    Go parents!

    Fight against a school district that continually ignores the well-being of its community members, students, and teachers. If they are in the right, why would they dodge a public discussion? Could it be that our elected school board members and highly paid administrative bureaucrats have no answers for their constituents? Where are our taxes going?

    Obviously not to serve our students’ best interests.

    As a member of this community I demand that this school board abandon their stonewalling techniques and get back to their jobs providing an education for our youth.

    • Lola Says:

      You state that you have the support of the public…I would like ot know how much of that so called support is from friends and family of teachers. I have also seen several employees children being exploited and used to give the picture of so called support. Shame on you! Kudos to those teachers that have chosen the high road and returned to school instead of marching along like a bunch of sheep following their leader who stands to lose nothing!

  2. Wondering..... Says:

    I heard that Jim Berrios (President of Kent S. Board) is also running for mayor? True?

  3. Hooray! Says:

    Thank you parents for not being gullible to what has been printed in the media. I heard that the Kent School District finally ADMITTED inflating the cost of KEA’s (teacher’s union) earlier class size proposals. No wonder some unsuspecting folks in the community have had negative impressions of this strike and blaming the teachers and their union. So what else has been inflated, manipulated, skewed, etc, by the District?

  4. tired of it Says:

    you blame the District and board about stonewalling, but the KEA board is JUST as responsible.

    Neither side is really thinking of the kids at this point

  5. o hai Says:

    http://tinyurl.com/ne7wpz

    Just thought I’d share my own research.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Interesting post. Could you give more info where you got the other chart? I’m not arguing that your info is incorrect, but I’d like to see where the difference comes in. The http://www.kentschools.org website is run by a different person, so I don’t know the source of their posted data. WEA’s researcher provides most of what we post on both sites by accessing public records.

      Just a guess, but I think you might have the previous Superintendent, Dr. Grohe’s salary, or the salary quote you found may not include bonus or incentive pay above and beyond the base salary. A bunch of rumors are going around about the Superintendent’s salary. Any citizen can submit a request in writing to the Kent School District for a copy of Dr. Vargas’ contract. If you do so, send KEA a copy, and we’ll post it on this blog or the website. No matter what Dr. Vargas’ salary might be, I’d say he could be doing more to earn it right now, don’t you?

  6. Parentoftwo Says:

    Now that the law has been clarified I think it’s time for the KEA and KSD to put their big kid pants on and get back to work educating our children and work out their differences in private, not in public forums like the web or the courts.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Let’s not forget that Jim Berrios, the School Board President, is running a campaign to become the new Mayor of Kent.

    His site talks about government accountability and transparency. That seems to be lacking in his current public leadership role. What’s the chance he’ll provide it if he’s Mayor of Kent? Let’s see, zero plus zero equals . . . well you do the math.

  8. curious Says:

    Why would a team of education supporters (district bargaining team) not want the best for kids? If it’s about money then show the public the data to prove it. If it’s about being a bully and wanting to win, come clean!

    • curious Says:

      I got my answer—it’s obviously not about $. The district refused a proposal that was $277,000 less than their proposal but addressed class size and teacher mtgs. So, it must be about being a bully or just simply winning—great! So glad to hear that I work for a district like that. Makes me feel warm and cozy!

      • Jimmy Hoffa Says:

        Hmmmmm….call me crazy…but I gotta believe the parties were farther apart than a measly $277,000. And yes, when weighed against everything, $277,000 is not that much. And if the KEA thought all they had to give was $277k, they were not negotiation from a position of reality.

  9. Disappointed Northwood Mom Says:

    Today my son asked me how he could possibly look his teachers in the face after seeing them on television talking about defying a judge and that’s when I realized I would rather the District cave and give the teachers what they want and stop their strike because I’m trying to teach respect for authority in my house and I would rather have the District give in than have my son see court orders defied.

  10. Kent teacher Says:

    Thanks will never begin to say it all to the parents in the Kent District for their continued support in the cause we are fighting for. It is these parents that is keeping our moral up and wanting to continue the fight!

  11. Really? Says:

    Really? 6 hours after the judges ruling and this parent coalition post is still the newest blog entry?

    NEWS FLASH: THERE IS A LOT GOING ON RIGHT NOW.

    The huge fines ordered to be imposed on teachers come Monday are shameful, but it’s also a shame that this blog is not on top of big news like this.

  12. Auburn Supporter Says:

    I don’t live or work in Kent. From the outside, it looks like the Kent School District’s School Board and Superintendent are willing to rip the Kent community apart rather than give up the ability to say “NO!” to things that would only improve education for the children of Kent and make it a place that teachers would want to work. Clearly they have the money to do so; it is a matter of public record. Anyone who can read a financial reporting sheet can figure that out. Why would the Kent School Board and superintendent want to say “NO!” to things that would improve their district (and that are already in place in surrounding districts)? It seems that no matter what happens with the strike at this point, there will come a reckoning come the next school board election.

    • ITeach Says:

      You nailed it exactly, A.S.

    • Jimmy Hoffa Says:

      hmmmm…oh….. I dunno….maybe because in the long run they know they can’t afford it? It may look easy to afford now, but you have to think long term. This strike pretty much ensures no bond or levy will pass. And perhaps maybe because the next time the KEA contract is up the KEA might strike.

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        I find it amazing that you do not believe anything that the KEA posts, but you buy the District’s posted information every time.

        Who gets punished if a levy doesn’t pass, and the District has to cut about 30% of its staffing and services?

        What is it that you are hoping to accomplish with your dissent on this website? It seems to run deeper than simply wanting the strike to end.

      • rupert Says:

        Are you from the bargaining team?

  13. what is wrong with you Says:

    Can you tell me why Lisa Brackin-Johnson will not hold a public meeting?

    Last I checked the Board is NOT paid. They are volunteers who live in the district and some have kids in the district. Please check your facts before you post.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Lisa is at a public meeting with parents from an elementary school as I type this. She meets with parent and community groups often, even more so during this strike. The Board is not getting paid, you are right. What do you suppose Mr. Berrios was hoping his role on the School Board might get him? (Hint: drive around Kent and look for the signs.)

      • PLU 92 Says:

        Any chance you can publicize where and when these “meetings” are being held? I would like the chance to go…

  14. Chloe Says:

    I would rather see a Parents Coalition that tells these teachers to stop breaking the law and get to work. They are only hurting our children and community. The public support is gone

    • National Board Certified Teacher Says:

      Yeah, I thought it was actually quite encouraging when I drove by the anti-strike “rally” (which I might ad was VERY well advertised on all the media outlets) today (a late Saturday morning) and saw six people on a corner protesting the strike. On the other side of the street were dozens of students and parents supporting their teachers.

      Their “rally” was a bust, because most parents and students know that what we are doing is with their best interests and futures in mind.

      Additionally, the anti-strike protesters would have their energy better spent by standing in front of the district office putting pressure on the KSD to relinquish their tightly-held power and work in good faith with KEA toward an agreeable contract for both parties.

      Look at the history, folks….strikes end faster when parents and the community put pressure on the side who is exhibiting the most control over the other. This portion deleted for violation of blog policy against personal attacks. Who can manipulate people the best? The entity with the most money. Think about it.

      Don’t say ‘the public support is gone’ until you have actually gone and ‘polled the public’ otherwise you are just fabricating lies.

  15. Chloe Says:

    Why is the Kent Parents Facebook set to private so only “friends” can see it?

  16. truetransparency Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you parents for all your support!! Your voice will be heard as long as you keep the momentum going!! Your organization will grow throughout the year as parents experience frustration with the district. For the past 15 years KSD has turned a deaf ear to parents and teachers. They must learn to listen and face reality of problems in the KSD. Thanks for all your support!

  17. Kent Mom Says:

    some of us have to work

    • LovesJustice Says:

      Dear Kent Mom: I hear you sister. I think pretty much, most of us do! However, there is an event this evening and also this weekend if you want to show your support. I know the teachers want to be back at work too! By gathering in support we can put pressure on both parties to negotiate a fair contract.

  18. Arlena & Samantha Says:

    I am proud to leave my full name and not some factious fake name. Our teachers work hard and want to educate as to the best of their ability. The district is greedy and only wants the money for Admin Pockets. As Auburn Support stated you only need to look up the financials. Any parent that is involved in their Childs education would and could only agree with the teachers. If you are a parent who expects the schools to raise your kid and do most of your job, Then yes you are lazy and don’t see the real picture.
    Arlena and Samantha

  19. Kent Parent Says:

    It will be very difficult to let this go and just move into a new school year. The emotional toll this will take across the district in all types of relationships will take a long time to heal. In a nation already battling so much dysfunction, this is very sad to see hit right at home. Once a contract is signed, it will not be over.

    Regarding money—at what point do the costs the families incur come into play? I schedule my work hours according to the school schedule. The teachers and all of the other workers associated with school will eventuallywork those hours and earn that money. The $500 + dollars I have spent to date out of pocket to pay for child care while I am at work (because I thought the kids would be in school) will not be repaid.

    This is impacting us all.

  20. District's methods now clear to all Says:

    Grateful, heartfelt thanks to all the parents who are involved and fully understand now what it has been like to deal with this district administration! Your involvement means more than we can say! It is wonderful to know that you truly understand that our requests are reasonable but ignored over and over by the district.

    The district should have a reserve of about 7, maybe 8 million dollars. Why do they have $21 million and continue to build up more and more savings of our taxpaper money when we have children that they need to be spending it on? It is NOT the administrators’ money!!!!!!!

    Use a little of it and end the strike now, KSD! You could use the $2 million or more profit you have been making each year to take care of many of the issues on the table and not dip into what is already in the savings.

    Thanks again, wonderful involved parents and community members!!!!

  21. Another Parent Volunteer Says:

    Just a couple of thoughts:
    – As posted in other places the district had only a few hours (4??) to review the 9/10 KEA offer. It is not good business sense to agree to something until it is fully understood. KEA wouldn’t agree to something they had not fulled reviewed.
    – The fiscally conservative policies of the school board are to be applauded. Have you heard there may be a flood in the valley this winter?? Do you know that there are multiple schools in the flood plain?? Have you considered what would happen if a school was damanged in a fire or snow storm – think of that high school where the rough collapsed last year.
    – Parents have you really thought about what you are asking for when you support the teachers on the “hard fixed” class cap limits??? Parents do you want your students in Split grade classes?? How many of you have requested to be in a certain teachers class?? What would you say if you were told that class was full??? Do you want your High School Student to not get into a class that you want because there are too many students for one section but not enough for two?? We need to give the district some FLEXIBILITY to be able to address these issues. FLEXIBILITY = AVERAGES Don’t let the teachers union back us into a corner.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      KEA has routinely been able to respond to KSD’s proposals in a timely manner. KSD did respond by giving us a proposal that ignored class size caps, and instead offered more Principal Effective Ed days. (More payment if we do what our principal offers at additional after school meetings.

      I suggest you read the letter by State Rep. Sullivan and Simpson in regards to the fiscal conservatism of the District. The District’s budget per year is over $300,000,000 dollars. Our proposals will cost around $10 million, part of which may be paid by the District’s reserve fund of over $21 million. The KSD’s own Board Policy of a 5% reserve comes out to about $13 million dollars. KSD’s last financial statement posted was in June. Do you wonder why the July or August budgets have not been posted? http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/KSD/AP/Monthly_Financial_Statements/monthly_financial_statements.htm

      We already have “averages”. That’s the problem. As long as the District doesn’t have hard caps, it can continue to have a class of 24 in the same school as a class of 30 and be required to do nothing.

      • Another Parent Volunteer Says:

        In fact I had previously read the letter from our Representatives and felt that they had not reviewed information from both sides. Fortunately in future elections I can choose not to vote for them, even though I have supported them in the past.

        As far as the posting of the finacial reports, do you think the district gets one bill for $25 million the first day of the month and all their finacial work is done??? Perhaps if you worked in accounting you would understand the delays involved in receiving, allocating and paying all the invoices and payrolls. Have you ever given a thought to the complexities of the accounting system and the state reporting that is required?

        What is wrong with a class of 24 in the same building as a class of 30 if that is better than having a bunch of split classes or other accomidations that are not in the best interest of the students. Don’t you teach your students that life isn’t always fair.

  22. AROMERO Says:

    IM A PARENT IN THE KSD AND I AM ALL FOR ARE KSD TEACHER’S WE NEED TO MAKE IT CLEAR TO THE PARENT’S THAT ARE SAYING THEY ARE BRAKING THE LAW BY NOT GOING BACK TO WORK AND KEEPING THE KID FROM GOING TO SCHOOL. I KNOW I WOULD NOT WANT MY SON TO GO TO SCHOOL WITH 25 TO 30 KIDS IN HIS CLASS. AND FOR THE TEACHER NOT TO HAVE A FAIR CONTRACT THAT MEANS ARE TEACHER’S WOULD ONLY WORK THE HRS THEY HAVE TO AND THERE WOULD BE NO EXTRA TIME AFTER SCHOOL. REMEBER PARENTS SCHOOL IS NOT A DAY CARE ITS A PLACE FOR ARE CHILDREN TO LEARN. AND PLAESE PARENT WE NEED TO LET THIS PARENTS WHO SAY IT ALL ABOUT THE MONEY IT’S NOT IT’S ABOUT THE SMALLER CLASS AND MORE TIME FOR LESS PLANING FOR A CHILDREN. LET GO KDS TEACHER AND PARENTS LET ARE VOICE BE HEARD

  23. Grandma of 12 Says:

    In response to Disappointed Norwood Mom: Please tell your son he can look his teachers in the face and admire their courage in defying the court order. The KSD has simply not bargained in good faith with our teachers. Not only are our teachers showing great courage in their convictions, they face economic sanctions. Tell you son he can learn about courage and conviction from these teachers. We all need to admire and respect them.

    • Disappointed Northwood Mom Says:

      Can’t tell him to look at them with pride because he also has to answer to the rules in our house, and defying judges is not okay here. I understand the teachers’ views but I listened to Judge Darvis and she’s clear that not obeying the rules of the court undermine our system of government. I would admire them for doing the right thing and showing respect for authority.

  24. Concerned Says:

    After receiving many e-mails from KEA President, Lisa Brackin-Johnson today, I can only asssume that neither side is willing to get the strike over. Both sides appear to be close in their proposals–but no one gives. As an educator who chose to cross the picket lines because of my own personal beliefs, I am also tired of the threatening and harassing e-mails from the KEA leadership. I made my choice, just as those who chose to strike did. I have not e-mailed anyone who did strike any hateful e-mails and I will not refuse to work with anyone who made that choice. Apparently, I will not be treated the same when we all go back to work. All the speeches we heard at the KEA meetings about treating with repsect no matter what choice we made were simply empty words. The longer this continues, the less we are doing for the students who want to attend school. But at least the athletes can continue to play sports–sadly students who want to learn are not afforded the same right.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Threatening and harrassing emails? They are sending information on what is going on. What emails are you receiving from the leadership that are threatening you? What are the threats? Did you consider that not eveyone would support your decision to cross, and that may lead to consequences that you may not like, just as members considered the risks of defying the injunction when they voted to do so?

      Why are you attacking the coaches, who are on a completely different contract?

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