It was brought to my attention that the teachers union recently sent a letter to its members inferring that Carolyn Simpson (School Board Director) and Melissa Johnson (School Board Candidate) were compromising the full funding of our schools, negatively impacting student outcomes. This could not be further from the truth! Carolyn’s actions have consistently supported student outcomes while encouraging the board and administration to provide a detailed budget when making a case to justify and levy. As a parent and taxpayer, I’m thankful School Board Director Carolyn Simpson asked for these budget details. That’s her job.
School Board Candidate Melissa Johnson has been very clear and consistent in all her responses regarding the levy. She states that regardless of any local levy decisions, we must ensure that our teachers and support staff are being fairly compensated and that our critical programs contributing to student success are fully funded. Furthermore, student success is always at the forefront of her priorities.
Melissa has consistently communicated: 1) She is committed to taking a deep dive into SVSD’s current and future budgets to make certain that the funds are going to the right places, all to support student success.; 2) She has shared the same model that all three of our bi-partisan legislators are strongly recommending, which rarely happens. By running a levy that is ½ the amount of our current local levy, the SVSD has the opportunity to receive a notable increase in funding while giving our tax payers some relief; 3) Melissa has intensely suggested that the SVSD needs to be completely transparent on what the levy money will be used for; and 4) Melissa has recommended creating a budget advisory committee which includes the board, administration, parents, students and most importantly would include teachers.
The fact is, our SVSD administrators are paid very well. Our Superintendent’s salary is 18th in the state, highest by far when you look at similar sized districts, and our two deputy superintendents fall into the top 25-highest paid in the state. Is this the case for our teachers? Melissa is asking the right question, is our budget being spent in the right place? Which should be supporting our classrooms and our students.
Melissa will fight for our kids, ensuring that our teachers, bus drivers and support staff are justly paid. Please join me in voting for Melissa Johnson.
Barbara Scott, North Bend