PRESS RELEASE
 June 13, 2013
 Contact: Judy Arbogast, SKEA President, 360-871-4149 SOUTH KITSAP TEACHERS

SEND STRONG MESSAGE TO SCHOOL BOARD
 
 Concerned by teacher layoffs and class sizes, teachers in South Kitsap have voted no confidence in the district's chief financial officer and set an August 26th meeting date to vote on new contract proposals or consider a strike vote. 88.9% of the total membership voted and 92.6% of them voted no confidence in the district's chief financial officer, Sandy Rotella. Additionally, in an 86.8% vote, teachers set an August 26th meeting date to vote on the outcome of contract negotiations by ratifying the new contract or consider a strike vote.
 
 "Teachers are very frustrated," said Judy Arbogast, president of the South Kitsap Education Association. "We already have some of the largest allowable class sizes in the region. 23% of our kindergarten through 3rd grade students are in classes that are at or above the maximum class size according to the district's own enrollment data. Over the past five years, we've lost 10% of our teaching positions and in May the district laid off 10% more of our teaching staff. We are very concerned about what that does to our students and the quality of education and attention we can give them."
 
 Teachers focused their frustration on the district's financial officer according to Arbogast, because the district's own budget numbers don't justify the need for teacher layoffs. They also want to know why Rotella waited until April to inform teachers and the public about the size of the layoff and why South Kitsap has the largest teacher layoff of any district in the state.
 
 "We've been telling Sandy Rotella since March that we have concerns and she hasn't listened," said Arbogast. "Teachers felt that they needed to send her and the school board a strong message."
 
 The current South Kitsap Education Association contract expires on August 31st.

skeapo@gmail.com

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