Letters to the editor

Claims false

To the editor:

The recent letter from South Kitsap School District school board director Jeff Daily titled “SPED ignored” is riddled with misleading information about SKSD staff and services.

To depict superintendent Tim Winter, district staff and other school board directors as uncaring or inconvenienced by students is outlandish and incredibly insulting.

Furthermore, SKSD is legally required to provide services for special education students, and the services are audited for compliance. Students are not ignored. In fact, the talents and abilities of all students are nurtured through positive relationships between staff and families.

What should be ignored are Mr. Daily’s false claims. It is shocking how much staff time and taxpayer resources are wasted addressing the flow of records requests and legal matters that Mr. Daily hurls at the district.

Mr. Daily filed a complaint with OSPI related to Special Education services in South Kitsap. What isn’t mentioned in his letter is the response from OSPI. Two issues were too vague to be investigated, two others were found to have no violations. In the other, SKSD acknowledged that due to staffing shortages, there were students who did not receive all the related services in their IEPs, and OSPI found this to be accurate. An occupational therapist was recently hired to provide compensatory services during the summer of 2023.

This is just one example of Mr. Daily’s requests. Instead of working to support South Kitsap schools, Mr. Daily insults and distracts the professionals dedicated to educating all students in our community.

Amy Miller

South Kitsap School District

Pay too much

To the editor:

I am very curious about two continuing financial issues involving the South Kitsap School District that remain unresolved.

In 2018 a special education teacher posted an online picture of her brilliant educational skills, and it generated a huge citizen objection. Later that year SKSD stated that the teacher was no longer with SKSD.

Inquiring minds want to know. If this teacher is no longer working within the SKSD then why is she being paid? Well, it appears my allegation of lying is actually true because numbers don’t lie: 2018 her pay was $115,344; 2019 it was $129,015; 2020 her pay was $148,955; 2021 it was $148,170 and in 2022 her pay was $174,574.

Odd, that is a $59,230 salary increase in five years to not work.

It appears the financial problems keep building as citizens challenge the school board about a reported $10 million cash shortfall if corrections were not made. How this could happen? In 2021 superintendent Winter was paid $276,351 in 2022 it was bumped up to $319,908. That is a $43,557 increase. Did the school board grant those salary increases or were they union demands?

Larry Mann

Port Orchard

SKSD owns boat

To the editor:

The South Kitsap School District owns a 44-foot sailing sloop named the Lively.

Only a handful of students have trained to be sailors on the Lively. No one from the community can set foot on it. She was purchased from the University of Washington in 2015 for $8,000.

The district has diverted tens of thousands of tax dollars to the Lively, yet less than 10 Navy Junior ROTC cadets have learned to sail her. That is less than ⅓rd of 1% of the student body.

Is that inclusive, equitable and fair for the other students? The retired captain conducting training also is paid an impressive salary.

In 2020 a state Department of Commerce grant for $24,000 was awarded to the district, all spent on repairs and replacement of navigation equipment. The grant stipulates the district must retain the Lively until 2030. However, it might be possible to sell the sloop and use the proceeds to purchase a small fleet of sailing dinghies.

SKSD could form clubs so other students could learn to sail. But the district continues to refuse to consider this option. One of many examples of poor budget choices and funds management by the district. Until things change, I won’t be supporting any multi-million dollar bonds.

Vote “no” on SKSD’s $271 million bond.

Dave Kimble

Port Orchard