Letters to the Editor

School furloughs: Is there a better way? | Letters

How is it that a state Legislature can trumpet no education cuts in the recently passed budget, and how is it that the collective memory is so short that the hard-cold fact of impending furlough days for the next two school years is forgotten by most?

There are 3.5 for Federal Way School District next school year, and 3.5 the following year.

So when parents, recently re-awakened school employees, and the media get a hold of this, how will it be spun?

Parents, do you fully understand the day-care implications? Instead of your tax-dollar funded child care, you’re going to have to pony up/do something for seven individual half days of early dismissal. There’s no other way to still fulfill the “180 school day” requirement. Math note: in just what system of reckoning does one-half equal 1? Only in WA legislature math, apparently.

School teachers, what about you? Just how much is a pay cut of 3.5 days? Do the math — that means take what you’re currently earning in yearly gross pay. Divide that by 180. That’s how much you earn each day. Granted, we get it spread out over 12 months. Now, multiply that number by 3.5. That’s your pay cut for the furlough days. Note: it’s not as much as you’ve been earning this year. Perhaps you’re still on the salary schedule where you move up a step, so maybe it balances out for you.  However, after about half your career, you’ve topped out that “ladder,” so there is a significant number of us who will get a cut in pay, period, and then another the following year.

What about all the classified folks who are paid hourly? Many of these folks, who already earn barely/less than livable wages, are in exactly the same boat we are: no kids in school, no pay...

I don’t know a solution to this, and the greater fiscal problems our state faces. I wasn’t in the Legislature the past several years, but, Jiminey Cricket, folks… there’s got to be a better way.

My bills haven’t gone down, and now college tuition (and anyone notice the announcement about UW/WSU double digit tuition increases?) for our older son is starting. As for me, and my family, anyone out there hiring in a part-time position?

Lisa K. Johnston, Federal Way


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