Letter to the Editor

As the students, parents, and patrons of the Battle Ground Public Schools (BGPS) move on from what should have been spring break week, it is worth noting that while Vancouver Public Schools, Evergreen School District, and various other public school districts in the region participated in a full week of vacation, BGPS cheated the families of our district’s students by cutting in half the time they were entitled to enjoy a break. 

Most patrons without children enrolled in public schools may have missed that distinction.  Living where a school bus unexpectedly pulled up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings of spring break week brought it to this taxpayer’s attention.

So, thinking back to the end of August 2018, when the smiling faces of teachers on strike populated Main Street and SR 503 for weeks, thus delaying the start of the 2018-2019 school year, the reason for an abbreviated spring recess seems clear.

Bear in mind, those same teachers declared in signage and with their chanting that they were on strike “for the children.”  One wonders if those same children are pleased to be paying back some of that wasted time so that their teachers could reap the financial benefits of a piece of the McCleary decision pie?

The superintendent would very much like to put aside any animus toward his teachers’ illegal strike tactics and simply move on.  Of course he would, because the same district that unnecessarily opened up the contract for salivating teaching staff will soon be coming back to the very same voters seeking yet another bond levy measure, once again telling us all to remember “it’s for the children.”

Since we know teachers cherish their weeks off in the summer, which they usually are paid for through annual salaries spread over twelve months for ten months of work, one has to wonder how many teachers enjoyed a full spring break week by taking two-and-a-half days of personal time, vacation time or sick leave that the district had to pay extra for a substitute to cover that classroom absence?  If so, was that also “for the children”?

We should keep this in mind when the BGPS puts forth the next bond levy measure.  Patrons should watch their wallets and consider the tired old adage that they only want what’s best “for the children.”  This patron surely will.

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