Community Budget Forum Coming June 2nd

Kent Education Association is pleased to announce that it will be sponsoring a Community Budget Forum On the Kent School District Budget on Wednesday, June 2nd, from 7-9 pm.  The meeting will be held at Daniel Elementary School in Kent in the school’s Multi-Purpose room.  

Kent Education Association invites any parents, KSD employees, School Board or community group members, or anyone else who supports students in the Kent School District to attend.  The meeting will include an in-depth analysis of the Kent School District budget by Andrea Hardy.  Ms. Hardy is an expert on school budgets in Washington State for the Washington Education Association.  Her presentation will analyze the Kent School District’s financial picture, its spending patterns, and how it compares to other school districts in the region.  These facts will help shed light on the recent budget cuts announced by the Kent School District, which have led to 24 teachers being laid off, not to mention the cutting of vital staff, programs, and services.   We know that these cuts hurt kids, so we must all ask:  Are they really necessary? 

The information presented at this Community Budget Forum will help parents and community members to ask questions and take action to influence budget priorities in Kent schools for years to come.   The District has presented their budget in dire terms.  Now is time to hear the WHOLE story!

If you care about educating Kent students for their best possible future, you won’t want to miss this meeting!

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11 Responses to “Community Budget Forum Coming June 2nd”

  1. teacher AND parent Says:

    I would love to hear how cutting the 5th grade band/orchestra saves KSD money, esp since overload teachers will have to be brought in to help teach the 5th graders. Also, how is it that the School Board can sign a Proclamation for making the month of May Arts Month when they are cutting the arts?

  2. Next Steps Says:

    I’ve been to the past 4 board meetings. I’m very interested in seeing another point of view! Please make the effort to attend and bring friends! We need to show KSD board that we care about our kids!

  3. KSDParent Says:

    I am saddened to see that this date and time is a direct conflict with those of us who do care about the budget. The Citizens Budget Review Committee has a work session with the school board at the exact same date and time as this forum. That means that the most budget knowledgeable citizens, as well as the district’s finance people and the school board cannot attend this forum. This work session is an annual meeting and has been on the calendar since at least December of last year. If this budget forum is truly a community forum, I would urge KEA to reschedule.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Unfortunately, we were not aware of the Citizens’ Budget Review Committee meeting date when planning our meeting. There is nothing on the KSD’s district events calendar indicating any such meeting. Nor is there any mention of such a meeting on the Board Docs, which is supposed to post upcoming meetings and work sessions of the School Board. This brings up the issue of transparency that was mentioned in previous postings here– how can an employee, parent, or community member have input at meetings or know when and where deicisions are made if they are not fully informed of these types of meetings in a timely way?

      It is probably too late at this point to reschedule our meeting. The logistics of planning a meeting for hundreds of people is much more difficult than rescheduling a meeting for a dozen or so, wouldn’t you agree?

      Perhaps the Board and Citizens’ Budget Review Committee can attend our meeting. Wouldn’t that be a valuable use of their time: so that they get another perspective? In the meantime, KEA leadership will work on this problem, and hopefully come up with a solution.

    • Citizen Says:

      I would hope that Dr. Vargas or whoever is running your meeting would come to this forum instead and just postpone their meeting for a later date. I keep hearing that teachers, etc are expected to collaborate–so , here’s a chance for the district to do the same.

      If KSD administrators really want to come to this forum, they will find a way to do so. I’m not worried.

  4. Brooke Valentine Says:

    WOw I so want to go to this I agree that a different perpective is HUGE! However PLEASE PLEASE don’t make it an us verse them (NOt saying that you do or don’t) but I truly believe that Kent Students deserve an atmosphere where the Teachers and the district are on the same side. Also try to work with the district on either them changing the date or time of the Citizens Budget Review Committee or have KEA change the date or time. Doing so is a great way to WORK together for our Kent Students.

  5. Parent Says:

    I don’t think the teacher’s union is trying to make it an “us versus them” meeting. From the sounds of it, and from what I’ve seen, KSD has not been very transparent (using their words) and when they behave that way, they (KSD) seems to create the “us versus them” situation.

    This forum should be good.

  6. Weary Says:

    To find the dates for the Citizens’ Budget Review Committee, you would have to go to KSD Home page to Community to Citizen’s Committees to Citizens’ Budget Review Committee to Meeting Dates. Wonder why an interested person would need to search for those dates. Seems to me putting those dates on the KSD district events calendar would give interested parties easier viewing access and allow for future planning. Hmmmmm..

  7. Anonymous Says:

    May 30, 2010

    Dear KSD School Board Members,

    I wanted to write and applaud your decision at this past Wednesday night’s meeting. The community appreciates your willingness to dip into the reserves funds to prevent teacher and counselor lay-offs.

    Becky Hanks reported to me last Friday that the District budgets for an average of $75,000 per teacher position. The recent RIFs by her calculations equal $1,477,500 in savings. Many of us are still having a tough time understanding how with a roughly $250,000,000 budget, we have to save less the $1.5M by RIFing 24 educators.

    As Mr. Clark expressed at the end of the Board meeting, I hope the Board holds the District to account by announcing the calling back of 8.3 FTE positions this week. This is equivalent to the $625,000 addition to the budget approved last week.

    I must say that I continue to be offended by the presentations offered by the KSD finance department at the Board meetings. They have continued to frame putting off cuts to next year as “consequences” instead of “benefits.” I appreciated Mr. Boyce’s comment that he is concerned about this year at this time. He clearly sees putting off cuts as a benefit as I would hope any Board member would.

    Finally, I hope that the Board can continue to pressure the District to find ways to budget money that won’t involve cutting programs, teaching positions, and counselor positions.

    I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done this year. I fully understand that it hasn’t been easy.

    Sincerely,
    ………….
    Parent, Panther Lake Elementary School

  8. Anna McClure Says:

    I am not able to attend this meeting, but would like to receive any handouts or powerpoint presentations being presented at the meeting and/or any meeting minutes that will be taken. Where will I be able to obtain this information from?

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Keep checking this blog. The handouts and presentation will be posted soon on KEA’s website. Links and a discussion will be held here. This will all be happening in the next few days.

      Thanks!

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