In Prosser, teachers who have been offered positions with other districts have been denied release from their contract by Superintendent Ray Tolcacher.
Tolcacher claims this is due to a shortage of teachers, despite the fact it is a struggle for college graduates to obtain teaching jobs due to the lack of openings. Teachers are not drawn to Prosser, as it has one of the worst contracts and benefits in Washington state.
For the past approximately 30 years, the Prosser contract has been interpreted to say, “those who give notice by June 30th can be released from their contract.” This year, Tolcacher has said the contract means teachers might be released from their contracts if notice is given by June 30th, and there is no guarantee.
The 30 years of precedence have been voided by his decision. This is not fair to the Prosser teachers seeking positions that offer higher pay and better benefits for their families, nor is it fair for the students of Prosser School District. Forcing teachers to stay with a district they would like to leave does not result in quality education for students.
Tolcacher is hurting the students’ education and teachers’ morale.