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Board member saddened by strike
I am saddened by the strike by the Kennewick Teachers Union. In my eight-plus years on the Kennewick School Board, I have come to admire and appreciate the educators and teachers that work hard to teach and help the youth of our community.
I have also come to admire and appreciate administrators that foster an atmosphere of honesty, inclusiveness and cooperation. The core union demand appears to be equal pay with neighboring districts. Unfortunately, the state salary schedule for districts is not equal.
Richland receives an extra 6 percent for “regionalization,” while Pasco has a lower “experience factor,” resulting in decreased costs. Unwillingness to recognize this unlevel playing field created by the state Legislature is disheartening.
The district has the desire to pay our wonderful teachers well, balance other needs in the district and keep the district financially solvent. KSD is running a deficit this year. Taxpayers deserve a balanced, responsible budget. With so much misinformation and emotion, I would encourage all to look at facts, consider all information including proposed raises and help our children start another great school year. The website at ksd.org has great information under bargaining. The FAQ section may be especially helpful.
Brian Brooks, Kennewick
No one cares to enforce gun laws
Washington gun laws: Who enforces them? While trying to find out who enforces the laws on private sales of guns, I found out the following: Kennewick Police Department; they were not sure. Kennewick city attorney says it’s a police responsibility. Benton County Sheriff’s Department says go talk to the ATF. ATF says it’s a state problem not federal. County prosecutor says if it’s not referred to us by the police department, we’re not interested.
So I have come to the sorry conclusion that no one really cares.
Jerry Sleater, Kennewick
Everyone loses in teacher strike
An open letter to the Kennewick School District, school board and teachers: I strongly urge the KSD to come to an agreement with the teachers.
Having been through the Pasco strike years ago, here are the losses you can expect:
Loss of quality teachers to districts with higher pay; loss of wages for teachers — never to be recovered; loss of trust between administration and teachers; loss of trust between administration and parents; loss of morale in teachers; loss of trust between teachers and parents; loss of friendships; loss of excitement for new school year for both teachers and students.
My husband and I each have 30+ years in education and are strong advocates of teachers unions. Comparable pay with neighboring districts is not an unreasonable request.
Meet. Negotiate. Resolve. Make this a win/win solution.
Jeri Sandberg, West Richland, grandmother of Kennewick students
Was legislative fix really a remedy?
I read with interest the editorial in Tuesday’s Tri-City Herald explaining the negotiations situation between the Kennewick School District and the Kennewick Education Association.
However, I wish the writers would have delved further into the McCleary Decision and the Legislature’s so-called “fix.” I urge the TCH to examine what the state has done to put Kennewick, Pasco and Richland in this situation, specifically how Richland became one of more than a dozen school districts across the state to receive regionalization funds without meeting the criteria set out in the legislation.
I understand that some school districts were allowed regionalization funds by someone’s specific request. This appears to be an underhanded way of doing the state’s business while putting neighboring districts in competition with one another. In addition, since the state has changed its mind about the $1.50 local levy lid and has raised it to $2.50, has McCleary really been “fixed” to the State Supreme Court’s satisfaction? With these two examples, I think not.
Van E. Cummings, Richland