Submitted by James Guerrero.
Although I am not on the current Levy committee for the CPSD, I was specifically identified by Kerry Hill, an opponent to school levy funding, in his Rebuttal Statement in the voter’s pamphlet. Therefore, I feel compelled to respond as I strongly disagree with his analysis.
Mr. Hills’ statement regarding teacher’s pay is intended to illustrate that teachers in the district are overpaid. The fact is that teacher’s compensation in CPSD is within the typical range when compared with neighboring districts. If CPSD fails to remain competitive on teacher’s salaries, they will inevitably lose high-quality teachers to neighboring districts. Don’t we want our students to have access to best educators the District can attract?
Funding levels from the OSPI website indicate that CPSD’s rates are actually within a comparable range as our neighboring districts. By citing high funding levels and low test scores for CPSD, Mr. Hills implies that the school district has been a poor steward of the funding it does receive. While the McCleary decision is a step in the right direction in regards to providing more equitable funding for education statewide, it falls short of addressing specific needs and local challenges as it only funds basic general needs. There can be many reasons for low test scores, such as high poverty rates, above average transient population, inability to retain staff, availability of special education programs, etc. I agree that we should absolutely require that our district be excellent stewards of public funding, but only using test scores as the measurement does not give a complete picture. Conversely, punishing the district for low test scores by reducing funding cannot possibly result in better test scores and ultimately a better education.
To paraphrase OSPI Superintendent Chris Reykdal: Washington ranks 46th nationally in education funding as a percentage of our State GDP. We can do much better than that.
With new members on our school board and administration staff, led by an exceptional superintendent for the district; now is the time to support and energize our schools, our dedicated educational professionals, our children, and our future. It is not the time to defund education in our community.
Please join me in supporting CPSD by voting “Yes” for the school levy on February 11, 2020.Print This Post