One Teacher’s Take On Budget Cuts

The following is the text of an email sent by a Nationally Board Certified teacher in the KSD to the Kent School Board about the current budget cuts being proposed. 

Once again we find ourselves at a crossroads of making decisions for students or against students.  Any decision that compromises the student’s classroom experience is a decision against students.  When so much is being asked of those working daily with students to bring students up to standard and raise the level of proficiency in our district, how could any level minded stakeholder consider removing anything that directly effects the students.  IF it is necessary to make cuts in the budget, EVERY effort should be made to see that those cuts do NOT impact the classroom and those directly involved with the lives of the students. 
 
Lip service has been given to making administrative cuts, however, at an earlier board meeting this year, yet another superintendent position was approved.  How can that be?  I attend every board meeting; I hear the budget reports.  What I don’t hear are cuts from administration that free up money to preserve students’ education.  Administrative cuts I do see are those that remove administrative personnel from the buildings that only serve to harm the students in our care.  For example, just yesterday, our “designated administrator” (since our principal was out of the building) spent the entire day dealing with a student issue that potentially put other students at risk.  This required an intense investigation involving the questioning of at least a dozen different students to ensure an accurate representation of the situation before imposing consequences.  During this time, no other administrative work was possible.  THAT is what administrative cuts from last year have done.  Because the building I work in is not Title I, apparently we do not have student situations such as this that require the attention of administrative personnel.  Obviously an inaccurate assessment.  It appears that our district believes it is more important to add another superintendent position than it is to meet the needs of the students in the buildings by providing enough administrative staff to ensure the safety of our students.  Hmmm.  Something is wrong with this picture.
 
Other administrative cuts I see are those of TOSAs, or teaching staff at the district office that work directly with curriculum implementation issues.  Once again, these are positions that directly impact the classroom and the students.  Seems the most costly administrative cuts are those that require the services of the least paid and those with the greatest student impact.  How is that “Preparing All Students for their Future?”
 
My concerns are not just mine.  I am certain  you have heard this opinion before, and if not, it is because of fear of retribution.  Yes, fear of retribution.  There is still a culture of fear in the Kent School District when teachers express their concerns regarding administrative decisions.  If we are sincere about
the quality of education in the Kent School District, ANY budget cuts will be far, far away from the classroom and the building. 

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One Response to “One Teacher’s Take On Budget Cuts”

  1. Me Too Says:

    I want to say I agree with most of this letter (above). However, I would rather see TOSAs cut and put back into the classroom, than to see any librarian or music teacher cut. I say this, only because our librarians work closely with students helping them learn research skills, etc. and the music teachers giving and teaching our students what many of us are not qualified to do! So, I want to see class sizes reduced by putting some TOSAs back into the classrooms, as well as anyone else who has taught in the past, but are now in positions outside the classroom.

    Is the superintendant and the assistant superintendants ready to take a salary cut in the name of saving the jobs of those who directly teach our kids?

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