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Budget Update

Dear KSD Community,

As superintendent, it is my role to ensure that each and every student, all 25,400, are receiving access to high quality academic, social, and applied learning, and are ready to excel in college, careers, and in life. 

Our work, our core business of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on learning is what drives me each and every day. The measure of our success as a school district, and my success as the Superintendent, is rooted in the individual academic and social-emotional growth of our students and our collective work in reaching the goals laid out in the strategic plan as authorized by our school board. Working together, both internally and externally, to develop a culture of mutual respect, I remain committed to the goals we co-created as a community when I arrived four years ago in service to our children. 

Our Kent Education Association teacher’s union leadership has expressed their concerns and frustration by issuing a no-confidence vote in KSD administration and school board via public comment on May 8, 2019. While I am disappointed KEA union leadership decided to express their displeasure by taking a vote of no confidence, I do understand being frustrated with budget limitations and the impacts of recent legislative decisions. We have provided information and resources about non-renewals of provisional staff below in advance of our next board meeting on May 22, 2019. 

In the midst of our fiscal challenges, we must not lose sight of the remarkable accomplishments we have achieved together including a record high 83.7% four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate for the class of 2018 and a 10% salary increase for the 2018-2019 school year and a 4.5% salary increase for the 2019-2020 school year for our premier teaching workforce.  

KSD Fiscal Conditions

  • Provisional contracts can be non-renewed pursuant to RCW 28A.405.220 by May 15. Provisional teachers were reviewed in four areas: performance concerns, misconduct issues, working in a building that was overstaffed, failure to meet requirements of their conditional certificate. In some cases, a provisional teacher qualified for two of the four areas. After review, 21 provisional teachers were identified for non-renewal for one or more of these areas.
  • We are committed to protecting the privacy of our students and staff. With any changes in staffing we will share information first with affected staff, and then with our KSD community.
  • We are carefully unpacking the legislative action recently taken and how it impacts our budget for next fiscal year.
  • Budgets for all buildings, communities, and teams for 2019-20 are being reviewed for priority, strategic alignment, and sustainability as the district budget is prepared for board approval.
  • A detailed look at how the legislative changes will impact our 2019-2020 budget is scheduled for the May 15, 2019 board work session. All work sessions and regular board meetings are livestreamed for public access through our website.

At all times, it is imperative that we not allow circumstances to draw us away from our fundamental purpose of successfully preparing all students for their futures. I appreciate the continued partnership of all employee groups and labor partners and their commitment to Kent School District. It is an honor to serve alongside every member of Team KSD who is teaching and supporting those who teach in our district. 

Kind regards,  

Dr. Calvin J. Watts 

Kent School District Superintendent