Submitted by KM Hills.
I received an email from Pierce County which detailed how the property taxes in the County are divided and further revealed how education funds are dispursed.
I honestly believe that a good education is truly important and is a much needed building block for anyone, let alone the community at large, to be successful. Having said that, I often have concerns about what a public education costs per student for the education received.
As a college educated public employee with 30 years of employment experience I earn an annual salary equal to that of about an average teacher; in the school district where I live. I don’t feel underpaid and know I have been lucky to own a home, have a nice car to drive and the ability to educate my children outside of the public school system. While I earn the annual salary of the average teacher I get paid less per hour than that same teacher since I work more hours (12 months vs. 10 months) annually.
According to the pie chart included in the County email, education accounts for largest expenditure, at 34%, of our property taxes. Knowing this, knowing the HOURLY wage of the average teacher and knowing what a Catholic school education cost for my children, it really makes me question if teachers and education in Washington are under paid/funded.
Also included in the County email was the change, per school district, in the taxes it will receive for 2021. Like last year Clover Park School District will again be getting an increase. My cost of living adjustment as a public employee was about 1.5% and being topped out there is no room for a merit increase. The raise for CPSD from 2020 to 2021 is more than 6%. I guess my 1.5% COLA is being redistributed to my local schools. I just wish that the under paid teachers, who make more per hour than me, can provide a good education so that the test scores in CPSD don’t remain near the bottom in all of Pierce County. After all, as evidenced by opting out of public schools for my children, I do honestly believe a good education is vastly important.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.