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South Kitsap High students protest budget cuts

PORT ORCHARD — Budget cuts have students fuming in one local school district. Kids at South Kitsap High School marched down busy streets, protesting cost-saving measures that killed 68 positions – including 61 teachers.

protest

“Higher class sizes really means that the teachers aren’t going to be able to work one on one with the students,” said student Vincent Bachteler. “Everybody’s going to have struggles learning and that really hurts the whole educational system in the school district.”

Nearly 100 kids marched through Port Orchard streets – and cars honked approving their message.

The protest is a last-ditch effort after the school board voted last week to eliminate 61 teaching positions. The district has been burning through cash reserves but now they need to make deep cuts to mend a $3 million budget shortfall for next year, and officials say cutting positions is the only way.

But state Sen. Nathan Schlicher, D-Gig Harbor, says lawmakers need to work to make sure class sizes don’t balloon.

“I need people out there marching in the streets saying it’s time we do something,” said Schlicher. “The (state) Supreme Court made it clear, it’s time to fund McCleary and move on.”

The kids hoped to change the school board’s mind about the cuts, but now the decision is out of the board’s hands.

“It’s gonna hurt our educational system because with so many students in the class it’s really going to hurt the learning process,” said Bachteler.

Now it’s up to state lawmakers, who are in special session right now, to find the cash needed to make up the budget shortfall.

5 comments

  • Steven Wayne Johnson

    For an ENTIRE YEAR I have been offering my services FOR FREE to SK High School, including the principal, vice principal, and other senior officials. I have many HOURS invested in my efforts to assist this venerable institution with its many, many challenges. To date, not one single move has been made in my direction. Not one phone call. Not one "we appreciate your time, Mr. Johnson" email, or note, or ANY DAMN THING. Not one of many many offers to come see what I do, WALKING DISTANCE to my operation on the downtown Port Orchard waterfront. NONE. The entire place needs COCHLEAR IMPLANTS, or RETRAINING, or perhaps they should open their eyes and discover that this is NOT 1965 – it is 2013, and there is this "thing" called THE INTERNET that they have NO CLUE EVEN EXISTS, much less how to use it to solve their deep and long-lasting budgetary and educational messes, created by not paying attention to a world that has LEFT THEM IN LAST CENTURY SOMEWHERE. It makes me ill, just thinking about it. Somebody should be called on the carpet to answer some HUGE QUESTIONS about why an ENTIRE YEAR was squandered because I have LONG HAIR or a FUNNY HAT or some damn lame excuse. Watching the kids protest on Q13 Fox makes my heart cry out in sadness – the kids are taking responsibility. The adults? As they say in Alaska: GONE MISSING!!

  • Lenny

    I love that these kids are stepping up to the plate and DEMANDING that the STATE do it's job and fully fund education. Now it's up to the rest of US ADULTS around the state to get off our butts and do something. Write your representatives' and let them know it's time to DO THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL JOB and fully fund ALL the schools or we will replace them with people who will. They work for us, not the other way around.

    • Steven Wayne Johnson

      Good idea, Lenny. However, I maintain that the adults need to demonstrate to the kids some responsibility for their own community and NOT go whining to a very broken gov-mint (all levels) over their troubles. ONLY when communities all across the globe grow SICK AND TIRED of nothing EVER GETTING DONE and take matters INTO THEIR OWN HANDS will these MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL OF SOCIETY'S ASSETS (more than gold, silver, real estate, stupid equities and bonds in 401ks that have GONE MISSING FOR THE WINTER, boats, and RVs and grandma's MASON JARS – will be FINALLY begin to put a hopelessly out-classed America on the path to WHAT IT ONCE WAS a VERY, VERY LONG TIME AGO – a global LEADER (instead of a BULLY) a place of REASON, and people WHO READ and TRAVEL and CARE ABOUT OTHERS and their FRAGILE, NON-ABUNDANT (humans are HOPELESSLY IGNORANT ABOUT THE ECONOMIC REALITY OF SCARCITY – and think that elasticity is a HAIR THINGIE or SOMETHING YOU TIE TO YOUR ANKLES WHEN YOU JUMP OFF A BRIDGE – it ain't either – it's WHY THE US IS FAILING ECONOMICALLY – part of Si Fi (like bradbury, azimov, heinlein) Semantic Illiteracy and Financial Illiteracy – see me for Ti Di (hippies tech and dopamine illiteracies) and Bi Pi (county fair – BioSphere Illit and Pattern-Recognition Illit) and the final (hardest) OMEGA Illiteracy (the very, very very LARGE (like the Verse itself) and the very very very SMALL (like nanobots and quarks – DS9) lol

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