13 thoughts on “Video: SKHS students rally against staff cuts

  1. I’d ask Mr. Lemke to give a complete and thorough itemized report of local levy district tax dollars.

    With regard to maintenance and operations, how much was spent locally?

    Let’s move to office and classroom supplies. How much of the supplementary educational programs levy is spent on getting needed supplies locally?

    Yes, we continue to hear that the state is underfunding education by $1.9 billion.

    Okay, let’s see all of the school systems financials. How much of ithat state portion and the local tax levy money is spent in the state and local economy?

    How about the nutrition programs? How much of the money is shipped out of the local area for supplies and food not raised and processed in the state of Washington?

    I always find it interesting when our government and school systems ask us to shop and spend money locally. Because that spending funds our assistance programs, infrastructure, public safety, and education.

    Okay, if the state properly funded education, would there be less junk food on the school food menus?

    How is it that the superintendent, the one not living in the district, is getting car mileage and service allowances, and a $50 @ month smartphone plan, when 40% of the district is considered “low income”?

    Sorry kids, the state doesn’t fund education properly. So no more photography programs because we have to pay fringe benefits for a superintendent that doesn’t live in the district…..

  2. Approximately 85% of district funds are spent on payroll for employees. That is typical for a school district. School employees live within commuting distance. That is about as “local” as 85% of our budget can get. We don’t track whether our employees spend locally. It is none of our business.

    The current Superintendent lives within the boundaries of the school district. The incoming Superintendent is in the process of acquiring a residence in the district and is on track to complete that before she starts in July. You state otherwise. I am not sure why.

    Details of district financials can be found at the link below:
    http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu//Domain/36

    The phone number of our CFO Is also there and she would be happy to discuss the intricacies of the district budget. Have you called and asked?

    Regarding supplies and food purchases and whether they are locally procured… The simple answer is sometimes. In part because of cooperative agreements we share with other districts to keep costs down through group purchasing power and in part because supplies are rarely manufactured locally (books, paper, etc).

    You have stated repeatedly that our food service is sub-par, but you are unwilling to take a tour of our central kitchen, speak with our food services director, or accept any proof otherwise. So there is no point in continuing to debate a subject that you refuse to accept facts about. Your mind is made up and you aren’t willing to look at the facts. So be it on the subject of food and nutrition. In your mind, we are bad at it. In our experience and outside review, we are well above average.

    Maintenance and operations money is spent as local as we can keep it. Frankly, we outsource very little in maintenance and operations because it is less expensive to do it ourselves whenever we can. You are welcome to call our Facilities and Operations Director. Have you done that?

  3. “You have stated repeatedly that our food service is sub-par, but you are unwilling to take a tour of our central kitchen, speak with our food services director, or accept any proof otherwise.”

    So you believe that it’s acceptable to serve hot dogs, corn dogs, hamburgers, and pizza, as regular staple items on the menu? Oh I forgot the fries….. And even if it’s reduced fat, or oven baked, it’s still junk food!

    http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu/cms/lib/WA01000495/Centricity/Domain/42/May%202013.jpg

    http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu/cms/lib/WA01000495/Centricity/Domain/42/South%20Kitsap%20Secondary%20Breakfast%20and%20Lunch%20Menu%202012.pdf

    Does one really need a tour on how to prepare fast food?

    “The current Superintendent lives within the boundaries of the school district.”

    That’s not really established is it? After all, isn’t she getting a mileage “stipend” without turning in an actual travel log?

    There’s a similar issue with the Bremerton Superintendent too. So, it isn’t an isolated issue.

    “The phone number of our CFO Is also there and she would be happy to discuss the intricacies of the district budget.”

    Why can’t that information be publicly posted on the school district website? My experience has been to ask a question, and to get a referral. When the question is asked, very pointedly, the official clams up, claiming their job is in jeopardy, after which the managing school board member will say that isn’t the case. It’s a wild goose chase.

    And the pattern is set at every level. Sure, a transportation and communication log would be time consuming. But your district has 40% of the population considered “low income”. They can’t afford a car, or the mileage. They can’t even have a basic cell phone.

    So at the basic level, your district won’t disclose an activity, travel, and communication log. Seems to me that would establish residency.

    I know, I know, I should “run for the school board” (straw man). I’m “sniping” at you (I’m making ad hominem attacks). The state is underfunding public school education by $1.9 billion, and we need more tax levy money (emotional appeal).

    I asked for specifics, and the first word in your comment is approximately …..

  4. It is obvious by your response that you do not want to have sincere dialog on school issues. So, please explain to me why I should expend time and energy to attempt further dialog.

    At some point, it is more responsible of me to refuse to dialog with you than to continue to try. Give me a responsible reason to continue and I might. Some have suggested that dialog with you became counter productive a long time ago. Perhaps they are right.

  5. Just as an example of the stale-mate we seem to be at…

    You repeatedly accuse our superintendent of not living within the district and tie that accusation to your complaints about a vehicle stipend (which I have told you before is for official business travel, not to/from work travel). It is so incredibly easy for YOU or anyone else to validate where our current superintendent resides. Just look up their voter registration…

    http://www.soundpolitics.com/voterlookup.html

    You don’t need to keep ‘snipping’ about it. I get that you don’t like the vehicle stipend. You made your point. I disagreed with you and corrected your misrepresentations. We aren’t paying the superintendent for travel to/from home and her permanent residence is within our district boundaries. Could we possibly move on?

  6. “You repeatedly accuse our superintendent of not living within the district and tie that accusation to your complaints about a vehicle stipend (which I have told you before is for official business travel, not to/from work travel). It is so incredibly easy for YOU or anyone else to validate where our current superintendent resides. Just look up their voter registration…”

    There has been a recent history of local politicians having residency issues. With Josh Brown being at the top of that list, just Google it.

    It’s also a problem with Flip Herndon, at the Bremerton School District. Yes, he owns house here, and is registered here, but hasn’t voted here, according to that website, since November of 2011. If his vehicles aren’t registered here, that also gives me pause. So, scrutiny of your official shouldn’t be a big deal. If you don’t want the criticism, rescind that stipulation, install a GPS unit in her vehicle, and disclose her travel mileage that the taxpayers are paying for.

    But as I’ve said repeatedly, you offer and respond with fallacies and personal attacks. The public record illustrates this. And the blame remains upon the state for not properly funding public education. Yes, I get that. I wish to scrutinize local tax levy expenditures, and how much of the total public education budget is spent locally after payroll.

    What I continue to receive is the above, as expected. just more Circular Thinking from you on the Peninsular Thinking Blog…….

  7. Fallacies? Please show me where my response has been false.

    Just curious, how would you know where someone’s vehicles were registered? To my knowledge, vehicle registration details are not public information.

    Regarding school spending and what “stays local”, have you given our finance department a call and asked?

  8. “Just curious, how would you know where someone’s vehicles were registered? To my knowledge, vehicle registration details are not public information.”

    My purpose for asking, is the $20 Bremerton car tab. I wouldn’t look it up, I’d ask him directly at the next school board meeting. Mr. Herndon has interviewed for other jobs. Getting back to my theme of actual residence and spending money locally, you know, to fund our government, it just appears that Mr. Herndon, along with other county school officials just work here.

    My perception is that the board tacitly permits this through the stipend stipulation. You could settle the issue and just download data from a GPS unit. Transparency is just something you don’t want to do.

    “Regarding school spending and what “stays local”, have you given our finance department a call and asked?”

    Why isn’t it posted online, prefaced with a PowerPoint overview? That’s a ppt with a pdf.

    If I call, it’s a message and return call, followed by an appointment (likely to be cancelled), and non disclosure by conversation.

    Just post it. It would be available 24/7, would be an effort by you, the board, and the administration, to be open and transparent.

    Oh wait, the state doesn’t fun public education properly. With $1.9 billion, I suppose that would mean you could buy an office scanner…..

  9. What Mr. Herndon does isn’t relevant to your accusation about SK’s superintendent. I only asked after your last post because I was curious about how you inferred that you knew something about Mr. Herndon’s vehicle registrations because dipping into the vehicle registration database would be a serious breach of public trust if you are in a public trust position.

    Your latest post indicates that you “wouldn’t look it up”. Interesting choice of words. You make it sound like you could but you “wouldn’t”. It also seemed an odd thing to accuse Mr. Herndon about out of the blue. But, since I have no proof of who you are or if you have a “public trust” position that gives you access to the vehicle registration database, I will move on without making an unsubstantiated allegation that you breached the public trust with private information about Mr. Herndon.

    Apparently you were just speculating about Mr. Herndon’s vehicle registrations. We’re you also just speculating about SK’s Superintendent’s residency?

    I have stated that our current Supt. lives in the district. You have accused me of not being truthful regarding her residency. I made a further offer of proof and you start talking about Mr. Herndon. Can we agree that I was correct that the current SKSD Supt. is a resident within SKSD boundaries? Or does your speculation trump my offers of proof?

    Regarding posting budget information. Ironically, we do post much of what you ask… We post our budget and a simplified budget for explanatory purposes plus lots of other data right on the district website. Our district has been a model district for fiscal transparency and even shared our methods in training opportunities with other districts. Many districts have asked to our “ABC” simplified budget document as a template to create similar transparency documents in their districts for their citizens.

    http://www.skitsap.wednet.edu/Page/9874

    There is also a statement right there encouraging citizens to contact our business department if there are further questions or information needs. Yet you persist in denegrating our staff, insulting me when I try to engage fact based discussion, and proporting that there is no use asking because we will just ignore your requests. Yet, you acknowledge that you haven’t tried.

    You can lead a person to water but you cannot force them to drink. You scream of thirst for information but you keep refusing to drink from the well and attempt to contaminate the water so others won’t drink either. It is very hard to have reasonable dialog when you refuse reasonable efforts to hand you a cup and point you to the well.

  10. No, my points are on transparency of finances, disclosure of travel, money, and residency.

    You can’t seem to see those questions. Just how you handle criticisms by others. A judge to you so, and your history as a steward is marked by one of the greatest numbers of layoffs in the history of the district. And you’re a 1upper always getting in the last word. Your history is to make unsubstantiated claims in court and accuse others of lies, and innuendo.

    Maybe you should post those claims on the school district website. Fire away.

  11. As someone who served on the Bremerton School District Superintendent task force, sat through the much of the wider interview process and through all of the final interviews, the selection announcement and reasoning behind the selection by the school board as well as serving for three years on the District Budget committee, I can honestly say from my own experience that all of the information put forth here by Duct about Superintendent Herndon was previously revealed and know to me through several of the citizen participating opportunities that I just listed. That is was revealed in these district hosted situations also makes it a matter of public record that could be requested.

    What was that expression again about the dog not hunting…..

  12. Missed it by that much… Yes, Colleen that’s exactly right. And here’s where my next question would be, I’d compare the statements about residency of record, along with a copy of the mileage report. So, if the claimed residency doesn’t equate to the GPS logs, HOUSTON, we have a problem.

    I’d have to say this, just because the SKSD has attempted to circumvent the public records disclosure with a contract “stipend”, I’m not sure that would hold up in court. Particularly when there’s several school officials bragging about being “transparent” in the recent levy vote.

    This should be rescinded from the current contract, and NOT be allowed in the following superintendents contract.

    This is a RECORD number of layoffs due to poor oversight from the school board. This should be investigated by the local prosecutor’s office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Enter the word yellow here: