Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Parent letter to the School District

Here is a letter from a parent to the School District

Dear Superintendent Walker: I am writing to express my concern over budget cuts the district is proposing that will have a direct impact on my children. I am well aware that the district is facing an unpleasant budgetary situation. However, I don't believe that at any time since the legislative session ended has the district asked for feedback or input from the community on what our priorities are for district spending. As the legislative representative for the Syre PTA, it would have been my duty to disseminate and publicize information from the district asking parents for input on this matter. I don't recall ever being provided with an opportunity for parents to provide input. If there was an opportunity for this to occur, the communication from the district was insufficient. Surrounding districts held meetings and gathered information from community members and parents on how to deal with a situation that can accurately be described as a funding crisis. Shoreline did not do that. Now I have learned that two-thirds of the non-student days that school nurses currently work are being referred to as "excess" by the district. The term "excess" implies unnecessary. As the parent of a student with a life-threatening medical condition, I assure you that those days are not "excess" or unnecessary. When my son transitioned to middle school last year, our connection to Joni Wishaar, Einstein's nurse, was crucial to his ability to have a successful start to middle school. We were in communication with her after school ended in the spring of 2009 and held meetings with her prior to the beginning of the 2009-10 school year. She ensured that all of my son's teachers were aware of his condition and knowledgeable about how to deal with any potential complications. She made sure that each teacher had necessary supplies on hand so that from the first day of school, I felt comfortable that he would be safe and supported in all of his classes. This was solely because of the work Joni was able to facilitate prior to the start of the school year. If the current budget cuts being proposed are implemented, it will mean that my son will not have the support systems in place at the start of the school year that he is entitled to. I find it hard to believe that Einstein will be able to provide the level of support my son received during the 2009-10 school year if these budget cuts are approved. Had the district been transparent with the community about how it was handling its budget decisions, and it had held community meetings and welcomed involvement from parents, students, and staff in the process, then I would be able to accept any budgetary decisions being proposed. It is unfortunate that those being impacted by budget cuts were not given the opportunity to provide input on alternative ways the district might consider making up its budgetary shortfall. I hope that in the future you will consider welcoming input from the community rather than dictating what you believe needs to happen. I urge you to search for alternative areas of the budget to make cuts that will not have a direct impact on students who rely on the crucial services that school nurses provide. Sincerely, Kristine McLane Syre and Einstein parent

This is another reason we are fighting!!! For our students!!

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