I am writing to express my support for the striking teachers and other school staff in Tukwila and to urge the school board to reach a settlement with them as soon as possible to provide them all with the competitive salary they deserve.
There is no doubt in my mind that citizens who choose to serve on a local school board do so because they care deeply about the students in their communities. If this is true, then the Tukwila School Board should show it by caring just as much about the teachers and other staff who serve these students directly each and every day.
The teachers in Tukwila are among the most dedicated I have ever seen and I have known several of them for more than 30 years. They devote extra effort and hours of their time every single day to help their students and they would literally take a bullet for those kids if the nightmare of a school shooting were to happen on any Tukwila campus. This is just one of the burdens they gladly bear for the love of their students and yet the Tukwila School Board is offering them a fraction of what other districts nearby are paying their staff.
Tukwila needs to keep the best, brightest, most dedicated staff to serve the families of this unique community. School board members, please do your job and give the teachers and staff a fair and competitive salary package. The McCleary funds are there for this very purpose. There is no excuse to not use the money for salary increases that will keep pace with surrounding cities.
If Tukwila has a budget problem, then consider cutting some of the highly paid upper administration jobs but do not think you can balance your budget on the backs of the teachers and other staff that impact the lives of students in person every day.
Do the right thing and do it soon. All of the students and staff would like nothing more than to be back at school.