Poulsbo & Beyond

An on-going conversation focused on the community of Poulsbo, fueled by local resident Rich Jacobson.
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CK School Budget Woes: “What Can We Do?”

April 27th, 2010 by Rich Jacobson

An article was posted earlier today by the Kitsap Sun Staff concerning tomorrow’s Central Kitsap School Board meeting where district officials and board members will discuss and act upon a resolution to make serious and significant teacher staffing cuts/layoffs.

The board will hold a study session on the matter beginning at 5 p.m., then act on a resolution to make the cuts during the regular board meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. The board meets at the district administrative offices in the Jenny Wright Building, 9210 Silverdale Way.

District officials have effectively avoided laying off teachers in recent years by being financially prudent and proactive. But despite this year’s especially big budget cuts, it’s clear that the district won’t be able to delay the inevitable. The district has to cut $3.4 million from its $115 million operating budget.

A number of people commented on the article, offering some of the typical ‘blame-shifting’ broad brush stroke criticisms, but offering little, if any, constructive ideas or actions for improving the situation.

It caused me to stop in the midst of my day and ponder,

“What can I do to make a difference?”

We look at these huge bureaucratic problems like budget shortfalls and think they’re just to big and massive for us to make any positive contribution/change.

I think of all the teachers who will soon be without a job – people who have dedicated themselves to one of the most time-honored professions – no longer using their passion and training to help educate our kids. Where will they go, what will they do?

And I think of our kids, forced into larger classroom sizes. Remaining teachers having to do more with less.

Maybe now would be a good time for those of us who are able, to volunteer in a classroom. We don’t have to be a rocket scientist, just a willing helper. Read a book, help a student with their homework, grade some papers.

And for those who can’t volunteer, a few letters or emails to our elected representatives with some choice words about Olympia’s need to reform the way it currently funds public education wouldn’t hurt.

One person may not be able to solve our budget woes, but we just might be able to make a positive impact in the life of a student or make a teacher’s job easier to manage!

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4 Responses to “CK School Budget Woes: “What Can We Do?””

  1. Andrew Manchester Says:

    I have been here for 18 years and keep hearing about the Lottery and it was originally supposed to fund school stuff AND how that got derailed – what is really the facts on this?

  2. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Andrew, The real fact is that most people did not read the fine print.

    Here is the actual statement for the Washington State Lottery website:

    START
    Wasn’t the Lottery supposed to pay for schools?

    Many Washington State residents believe Washington’s Lottery was approved by the Legislature with the intent that Lottery revenues be dedicated to schools or education programs solely. While this perception is understandable given the history of “Lottery Legislation” introduced in the 1970s and early 1980s, the reality is quite different.

    Lottery dollars are a small but important portion of the funding to build, remodel and renovate K-12 and higher education facilities across Washington. But Lottery dollars are a small percentage (less than 2%) of the state’s total education funding for K-12 and higher education instruction. To learn more about Lottery dollars for education, and how education is funded in our state, visit the Beneficiaries section of our web site.

    END

  3. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Rich, there were a couple of people from your district (twinsdad and madkat and others) who posted some good comments. You are doing them a diservice my not mentioning that and just focusing on the negative ninny attention grabbers.

    My posted recommendation, get your district finance committee running at its full effecient, educated, and informted potentional. It is in every districts best interest to have educated members of the community along with staff in place for the cliff that is coming in 2011-2012. We are all going to need to work together.

    Check out what the Bellingham School District has to offer here:

    http://bellinghamschools.org/budget-process-2010

    for a most excellent example of community interaction.

  4. BlueLight Says:

    “What can we do?”

    You can start demanding an accounting of environmental programs in this state that are taking money from EVERYTHING.

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Everyday CK is an ongoing conversation focused on the community of Central Kitsap, fueled by local resident Rich Jacobson.