MY VIEW South Kitsap School District’s people are second to none and getting wiser
By Larry Mann
Chairman of Concerned Citizens and Taxpayers of South Kitsap
I was very excited and humbled back in April of 2016 when citizens joined in the fight to defeat SKSD’s $127M school bond with 300 plus more ‘no’ votes than the first attempt.
Mr. Brandsma [interim superintendent, South Kitsap School District] makes reference to all of the college type curriculum programs with unique titles that Michelle Reid apparently implemented at SK High School, none of which have anything to do with educations paramount duty. That paramount duty is to educate the children of this state to the “basic education” level directed by lawmakers and the McCleary decision. That very apparent requirement is not being met when students leave SK High School for the United States Naval Academy and are required to take a year of remedial mathematics before they can start their four-year naval college education. It is very apparent there is a failure when colleges and universities all over complain that students entering these institutions read at a seventh grade level. These two documented facts are directly in line with this states mandated “grade proficient” graduation requirement, average, no more, no less.
Mr. Brandsma speaks of running two ballot issues in Feb. 2017. First a four year levy renewal Prop 1 that has been running for 12 years when it expires 31 Dec. 2017. SKSD has been collecting $22M plus a year for a grand total of $264M plus dollars for maintenance projects. When asked the district documented they spent $5.9M on 3 total roof replacements. I feel that I can safely assume the district has sufficient maintenance funds to carry them through the next 12 years without renewing this levy a 4th time.
Mr. Brandsma next speaks to a bond for a second and new high school for $172M, actually $183M, because the state is going to give SKSD a gift of another $11M if they succeed in getting this past voters. If the people are following this district closely, as I do, they (schools) have consistently had a 2% student lose every year for decades. From start of school in September each year SKHS loses up to 300 students by end of school in June. There is a very apparent reason for this and it is graduation credits. This state requires 22 credits to graduate, one additional mathematics credit is not one of them, swimming is not one of them, and a foreign language is not one of them, so parents take their students to a school that requires 22 credits, simple and logical. In the area of language lets reference some law violations. Mr. Brandsma boasts of Spanish immersion, elementary students being taught in Spanish that do not speak Spanish, violation of RCW 28A.230.030. SKSD does not have its required guns, handcuffs, leg irons, batons, pepper spray, padded rooms in all its schools, violation of RCW 28A.600.485. For multiple years SKSD charged $3,500 per student for all day kindergarten, violation of RCW 28A.225.210. Last, Mr. Brandsma is not telling the public this bond, with its increased cost from April 2016, has $50M dollars in maintenance projects added to it incorrectly and he is not telling the people it is a 48% property tax increase.
This bond and levy renewal are not people friendly, passable voter issues. This district established a clear and present danger overcrowding the kids and now they want us to pay $262M for the problem they caused.
Larry L. Mann
Chair of CCTSK
P.O. Box 1338
Port Orchard, WA.
Ph (360) 876-3482