As a parent of a third grade student at Opstad Elementary School, I am deeply grateful that the Snoqualmie Valley School Board, which is already million of dollars in debt, found a way to work with our teachers to avoid a strike.
I am also very grateful to our teachers for being willing to continue teaching, despite horrifically low pay conditions — pay conditions so low they cannot afford to live in the school district where they are teaching.
Both sides of this dispute are to be commended for finding a way to avert a strike, even though both sides have been put in a bind by a legislature that refuses to honor our state constitution’s requirements that the state fully fund K-12 education.
Still, the underlying problem remains. We simply cannot expect our teachers to be the lowest paid teachers in the United States. We cannot expect them to work in the most over-crowded classrooms in the United States. It is not fair to them, and it is not fair to our kids.
The time has come for all of us to help our teachers obtain fair and reasonable salaries. We, as a community, have dodged a bullet this time. But the fact remains that, adjusted for the cost of living, our teachers in the Snoqualmie Valley School District are among the lowest-paid teachers in the nation.
This situation cannot and must not continue. I hope that you will join me in demanding that the legislature finally pay our teachers at least the average pay for teachers in the United States. It is the least we can do for those who have dedicated their lives to helping our children become productive citizens.
Supply drive success
I would like to give a big “thank you” to those who either bought and donated school supplies or donated money towards the school supply drive.
Everything donated was greatly appreciated! Over 100 new backpacks with new school supplies (inside) were handed out to students at the North Bend Food Bank in August.
I would like to thank all those at Mount Si Lutheran Church who donated their time to help fill the backpacks and hand them out. I could not do this project without you! Your time and effort are always appreciated!
I would like to thank my two little girls, who at the ages of 5 and 2 have been great little counters! You did a wonderful job of helping me shop, sort boxes of crayons, and count pencils. They, along with my husband, support me every year with this project.
Finally, I would like to thank Jan Van Liew, who coordinates a shoe drive in conjunction with the school supply drive.
Many people purchased and donated new shoes for the same students who received new backpacks. She makes sure that each student receives the right size of shoes for the new school year. You do a wonderful job, Jan!
All of these efforts help these students have a much more positive start to their school year.