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Posts Tagged ‘teachers’

Working to keep local schools strong. (Photo property KA Bloomquist)

With the ongoing pandemic making every part of teaching harder, the Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools has stepped up big time to support remote learning.

The foundation, which normally issues grants to teachers and scholarships to students, has donated $45,000 to assist the school district.

A $30,000 check was given to the district to “supplement remote learning software and hardware purchases.”

Of that money, $10,000 will be used to help fund the iReady curriculum, with $10,000 going for the Character Strong curriculum.

The purchase of classroom technology (lapel microphones and cameras for teachers) nets $6,000, with the remaining $4,000 going to create 20 additional hot spots for students and their families.

The foundation then added an additional $15,000 donation for “Covid relief support.”

Fundraisers such as Dine Out/Shop Out, and the annual Circumnavigate Whidbey event helped raise funds.

 

For more info on the donations, pop over to:

https://www.4coupevilleschools.org/2020-covid-support.html

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Coupeville teacher Wilbur Purdue

Our teachers here in Coupeville deserve what is owed them. End of story.

As districts around the state battle over money which the state of Washington clearly earmarked for TEACHER SALARIES, and not for schools to poach for paying other bills, the fight has come to the prairie.

There’s an extremely important school board meeting tonight, 6:30 PM, Monday, July 30.

It will be held in the conference room, A305, at Coupeville High School (501 S. Main).

As a lead-in to this meeting, here is a letter from Wilbur Purdue, one of our best teachers and a man who grew up here on the prairie and has chosen to stay here, guiding future generations.

“Fair and equitable salaries!”

These were the resounding words left in the audience’s minds at the packed school board meetings on June 25th and July 9th as community members spoke out in favor of directing state funding for educator salaries in the manner it was legislated.

The Coupeville School District and the Coupeville Education Association are currently in the middle of an unprecedented bargaining session. 

The State of Washington passed legislation providing billions of dollars to fully fund basic education, with close to one billion additional dollars specifically designated for increasing staff salaries.

It is up to individual districts and bargaining units to develop fair and equitable salary schedules that provide professional salaries for the teachers in that district.

Over the past 16 years that I have worked in the Coupeville School District I have had the privilege to take part in building a strong collaborative relationship where the District and the teachers’ union found creative ways to compensate teachers within the limited confines of the district’s budget. 

This year has turned bargaining on its head as the district hired an outside bargainer, and based on his advice, removed school board members from being on the bargaining team for the district.

It is hard to collaborate when the other team doesn’t show up.

For the first time since the 1980’s a new salary schedule is possible for the teachers in your school district.

For the first time, ever, the state has provided ample funding that meets Washington State Constitution’s definition of “making ample provision for the education of all students.”

In the last legislative session, the state legislature provided funding to raise teacher salaries to the level of professionals.

In Coupeville the district was provided with an additional 2.18 million dollars to apply towards staff salaries.

Why are schools in our region not directing those funds where the state has directed them to go?

To quote a recent letter in the Sub Times, “Why do teachers have to beg, bargain and hold signs for these funds?”

The answer is simple, outside interests have divided the bargaining groups into non-collaborative structures. 

They have brought in false claims of restrictions on funding, they have tried to divide the collaborative process, and they have declared a siege mentality of stringing out bargaining sessions as far as they can.

They are trying to lock this region into a devastatingly low salary increase that would put salaries so far behind neighboring districts that the ability to attract and retain talented staff would be nonexistent.

The last bargaining session was on July 2nd and we find ourselves in the exact same state as the first bargain sessions in mid-June.

Recent attendance at school board meetings has highlighted for the Board of Directors how important fair and equitable salaries are to parents and staff. and how not having the district present at the bargaining table was unacceptable.

Due to that community concern the School District has reconfigured their bargaining team, which I think will help this process move forward to develop a new salary schedule that will fairly compensate staff.

Instead of working solely with a hired bargainer with no ties to the school district and the business manager, we will now be able to bargain with a district team made up of the superintendent, a school board member, and the hired bargainer and business manager.

This is a major change in the district’s bargaining team and a big step forward in our collaborative process and I want to thank the Board of Directors and Superintendent for this change.

If you are interested in insuring that the additional funding for salaries does indeed go towards salaries, come make a difference by attending your local school board meeting on Monday, July 30th at 6:30 PM, where next year’s budget will be approved, which will have a direct impact on teacher salaries.

Arrive early if you wish to speak publicly.

Wilbur Purdue,

Coupeville Teacher and Coupeville Education Association Bargaining Team member

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