Letters to the Editor

When students suffer, teachers worry | Federal Way letters

I am a 26-year eighth grade English teacher in Federal Way, and I am concerned about how budget cuts will affect my students.

The children in my class sincerely want to learn, but budget cuts have already affected them dramatically. One of my classes has 33 English students. As much as I try to give each student individual attention, it is already very difficult to answer every single question with the detail the students deserve. I sincerely worry about next year’s students when I hear that class sizes are likely to increase by four.

Tuition at state universities has increased by more than 30 percent over the past two years. College is becoming more and more elusive for my low-income and middle-class students.

Personally, after 26 years, my salary this year is less than it was last year. I have not seen a cost of living adjustment (COLA) in three years, and my health care costs have soared. Because professional development days have been cut by the Legislature, not only am I not able to enhance my professional skills on those days, but the lost days mean lost salary.

During these hard times, we must prioritize our budget needs. The children of this state should not be victims. We must invest in their education. Remember: this budget crisis will not last forever — a quality public education will.

Shannon Rasmussen, Bonney Lake

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