Cutting programs will hurt district

At a time when dollars for education are being repeatedly cut, I was dismayed to learn that our own Monroe school director lobbied to cut additional funds for our district. I have a letter dated Jan. 5, 2011, in which Monroe School Director Debra Kolrud has done just that.

The letter to Sen. Val Stevens states “I believe as an elected School Director, K-12 education dollars can be cut to save the state millions of dollars” by cutting funding for programs such as Sky Valley Education Center (SVEC) and Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA).

Both of these programs are within our district and serve nearly 1,500 students.

Later in this letter, Ms. Kolrud states: “I urge you please take the lead to promote such a bill” and “I will be more than happy to testify and arrange to have others testify if you bring this as a bill.”

Ms. Kolrud will claim that she is proposing cuts to these educational programs because they don’t need the same funding. However, these programs bring hundreds of thousands of dollars into the general fund for all our district’s educational programs. A cut in funding of these programs is a cut in funding for our entire district.

Currently in Olympia there is a proposal to reduce the funding of SVEC and WAVA by as much as 20 percent. In response, WAVA is forced to consider a reduction in staff of 10 teachers. Meanwhile, Ms. Kolrud is now out in the community criticizing the district because teachers have to be laid off and is stating she is against these layoffs. This is completely hypocritical.

When the final budgets are passed, Debra Kolrud may get exactly what she has worked so hard to achieve — reduced funding for students, teachers, and our educational programs.

Julie Conklin

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