Letters to the Editor

School district: Keep teachers in mind, too

The article in the March 30 Whidbey News-Times, concerning the hiring of a new maintenance director for the Oak Harbor School District, contained information that triggered serious concerns in my mind.

I do not fault the reporter, but I have questions about the statements issued by the superintendent and the president of the school board.

I would like to see the data that supports the statement that the average teacher’s salary in the district is $50,000. I am sure most teachers wish that such facts were true.

And when will the myth of the teachers’ 180 day contract end? The contract may exist but it does not cover the days before school begins and ends or the preparation and evaluation that are ongoing, time-consuming, critical components of each teacher’s responsibility.

I have no qualms about paying a maintenance director a salary that matches the responsibilities he/she will be dealing with. My concern is that teachers and their salaries and contracts were used as a measuring device.

Kathy Jones stated that “The maintenance department has been short-changed for a number of years.” And teachers?

Next year the teachers will be dealing with even more overcrowded classrooms, but the demands on them will not change. Learning is expected.

The district obviously needs a new maintenance director. Hire one and expect them to deal with a few headaches. Just don’t slight the heart of a school district, the teachers, to make a point in the press.

Lee Walmsley

Oak Harbor

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