Letters to the Editor

Students deserve full funding for education

Friday, Feb. 17, was a half-day for students and educators in North Kitsap School District. Six half-day furloughs were built into the NKSD 2011-12 calendar. These days are a result of the 1.9 percent state salary reduction imposed by the Legislature. Teachers and para-educators will take furlough time — time off without pay — similar to state and county employees.

Facing difficult decisions about budget cuts last summer, the North Kitsap School Board decided to spend down the reserve from 5 percent to 3 percent in order to minimize the impact of cuts on students. Even so, our district still had to make $3.5 million in cuts.  At this time, our district is anticipating the need to make another $1.6 million to $2 million in cuts for next year.

In Olympia, lawmakers are considering legislation that would:

- Funnel money away from public schools into charter schools.

- Invest $45 million to create an unnecessary new state health care agency.

- Mandate reforms that have not been proven to increase student achievement.

Our schools and districts are already struggling to implement well-intentioned, but unfunded, mandates that result in unintended negative consequences for our students.

Please join educators in advocating for the resources that our kids need and deserve. Contact your legislators and urge them to provide stable, ample funding for public school students, avoid any additional cuts to public school funding, and decrease unfunded mandates. Legislative hotline: (800) 562-6000.

On behalf of more than 6,000 North Kitsap students,

Christine Fraser, president
North Kitsap Education Association



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