An open letter to the North Kitsap School Board
July 15, 2010 · 4:13 PM
We would like to express our thanks to you for your recent work on the school district’s budget, in cooperation with the district’s Budget Advisory Team and the Citizens’ Budget Review Committee. From observing the last board meeting and the minutes and reports on it, we can see this is not an easy task, nor is the work finished. We feel much more information is needed, as well as time to review that information, and to come up with clear answers to the many questions that are still pending about the proposed budget.
We appreciate the fact that the School Board has the final authority in this district, which has been invested in you by law. You are our community’s representatives, elected to make decisions based upon the best, most complete information.
Thank you for standing up and asserting your rights in the recent board meeting. We support your stand in favor of placing an administrator in the position of principal at Suquamish Elementary School, rather than hiring a new principal. This was also the Citizen’s Budget Committee’s recommendation, and we applaud Mr. Strickland’s stand under the law that states that the school board has final approval of such decisions. We wonder, in light of discussion in the recent school board meeting, whether the North Kitsap School District administration is clear on the laws and policies regarding the limits of its power.
The administration needs to answer many questions before asking for a vote on this budget.
We suggest a special board meeting be scheduled between now and Aug. 26, so that you can ensure that your directions to the administration have been followed, and so that the school board can vote on any further changes to be made, before you approve the final budget. This would allow for true transparency in the process.
We recommend that all district travel be eliminated for the school year 2010-11. We oppose the administration asking for, or receiving, an increase in its benefits package, when our teachers are being asked to take cuts in their compensation. Our administration needs to lead by example, and take the same compensation cuts that they are asking the teachers to take. We would like to see “less administration, and more teachers” for our classrooms.
We respect you as the employer and manager of the school district’s administration.
They work for you, and for us. Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of this community’s children, and for listening to us, your constituents. You have our full support as you continue to lead with the strength that you have shown recently, and as you ask every question that occurs to you about the administration’s budget plans.
This is a vital part of the democratic process, and it will benefit the entire community to hear the answers to your (and our) questions. You have been endowed and entrusted with this right, and we need you to do this on our behalf.
Gregg & Karen Gerstenberger
Camille & John Hattrick
Pam & Rob Thomas
Irene & Brad Lougheed