KEA President Message To School Board Re: Budget Cuts

Last year, we heard the district wail that there was no money, but you did have it, and in fact you made over $4 million more.  

This year you say you want a budget that reflects the priorities of the district. A preliminary action plan was developed supposedly to help focus district reserves and put time, effort and money on improving student learning.

Out of the preliminary action plan came the Getting to Graduation plan. A focus on students starting in kindergarten, ensuring that there is a smooth transition for new students to Kent schools and from grade level to grade level. A plan to ensure that the graduation rates increased and students were ready for life beyond high school. 

Add on the other programs and initiates like:

1) district’s move to implement tiered intervention

2) the outside experts brought in for training

3) the training that KEA members spent time at

4) the SIOP books (strategies for teaching English Language Learners) for every teacher and

5) the time and training that goes with SIOP

It all looks impressive and seems to focus on the students, but we can’t judge it by the impressions it gives on paper.

One third of the Getting To Graduation plan requires implementation and work from counselors – but they are now on the chopping block.

Those who were sent to training for tiered intervention – are now on the chopping block.

Those who are to provide training, strategies for teaching and best practices for student learning – are now on the chopping block.

The people who provide additional literacy and math support, another part of the Preliminary Action Plan – are now on the chopping block.

It is inconceivable that the resources used to develop this plan, pay for outside experts for training, train staff for implementation and monitoring was wasted.

The very people that the district counts on to do the training and implementation are now on the chopping block.

It is difficult to improve learning conditions for students when teachers, counselors, and support staff will not be available for students. If the district really wants to focus on student learning and success, then they need to find a way to ensure that no cuts affect student learning.

Lisa Brackin-Johnson

KEA President


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8 Responses to “KEA President Message To School Board Re: Budget Cuts”

  1. Where's the Money? Says:

    Of course, KSD has no money to spare. It’s been spent on such things as: out of state training for administrators, tons of curriculum that ends up being bogus and either not user friendly or beneficial for students, laptops that keep breaking down, um…umm…let’s see…..oh, expense accounts for administrators, extra hired hands to help in the headshed that their current personnel cannot do (and I am not talking about classified positions).

    If you’ve been watching and listening to what’s been going on, then you will know I say the above with dripping sarcasm.

  2. Staffing Announcements Says:

    With the advent of staffing cuts at all elementary schools our staff was shown the projections for next year. Since we loose 1.0 FTE at our building in the library/media area a position was actually written as, “library/media/data/instruction interventionist” or some such nonsense. Administrators and the KSB need to understand that 1 person can not possibly do what 2 people use to do. Certificated staff should not “volunteer” to take on any of the responsibilities of cut positions. We are to spend our day teaching or planning for instruction. If the district refuses to fund staff for support positions, then the support will simply not be available. I can’t imagine anyone would be insane enough to want this position as it will quickly become a “jack of all trades…master of none”, situation.

    • Realist Says:

      I agree with you totally! If staff will do their own jobs and not volunteer for anything extra, then the message back to KSD will be: “Cut salaries off administrators and cut TOSA positions.”

      I am willing to support any group or cause that tries to oust and un-seat board members who do not support teachers. LIP SERVICE is no longer an option!

  3. 11 years... Says:

    Don’t forget the new freshman science curriculum, with support materials ‘promised’ with no word of where the money for the support will come from. And there will most likely be training on the ‘Falicy of the Zero,’ a push to give students 50% for missing or absent work.

    • Don't Hold Your Breathe Says:

      During the last reading adoption for elementary, there was a 3 year roll out for the purchase of materials. All elementary classrooms were to receive a “classroom library” so that all students would have equal access to books that support the “literacy workshop” model. KSD provided the Benchmark Bookroom the first year. We are still waiting for the rest of it. Student access to instructional level reading books needed to support the KSD instructional model is directly related to how much personal money teacher’s have spent to build classroom libraries for their students. This is just another example of how the KSD makes decisions and then does not follow through.

  4. 13 year...says: Says:

    Falicy of the Zero is crap…I’m sorry, give kids a minimum grade of 50% for doing nothing. Then heck, if they turn in every 4th assignment, they’ll pass the course. How are we supposed to “prepare all students for their future” if we do this. They will not be prepared, only pampered!

  5. KSD teacher Says:

    I find it ironic that ELL teachers in secondary got notified they would not have a part time position at high schools, yet all certificated staffing (non-ELL) has been offered to get an ELL endorsement at KSD’s expense (with little out of pocket pay, comparatively). That is a definite slap in the face. Lets certify all general education teachers in ELL, and oust the current ELL teachers. Where is the KSD “partnership”?

    Let it be said, I would encourage anyone to take the deal, after all, the flyer said you’d only need to teach in KSD one year following…Much more marketable elsewhere w/ an ESL endorsement.

    • Realist Says:

      So true. I know quite a few teachers who are planning to take advantage of all this “free” training through KSD and then when they get a chance, they are applying to other districts to be employed. If KSD respected teachers more, they would get back what they invest in those teachers–but sadly, they do not realize that their “top down” management style is driving teachers away–nationally board certified too.

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