Lynne Chelius’ Oct. 29 letter to the editor called into question the fiscal responsibility of the decision regarding teacher pay raises in the Edmonds School District.
First, I take full responsibility and stand by my vote in support of Edmonds teachers earning a fair wage in the communities where they live and work. This was a difficult decision; a decision that incorporated the recommendations of our superintendent and financial professionals with decades of experience in school finance. The five board members voted unanimously to approve the new teacher contract.
Contrary to Ms. Chelius’ claims, I was not board president at the time the vote took place to approve the teacher pay raise. She is also incorrect in stating that the vote took place August of this year, when in fact it was August of 2018.
It is fiscally responsible to find a way to pay for teachers raises. While the board faced concerns this year with potential layoffs, ultimately fewer than five teachers were not offered positions in our district. On the other hand, we were able to provide long overdue pay increases to over 1,200 certificated teachers while maintaining low class ratios as compared to neighboring districts.
In the end, the board’s top priority is to improve student outcomes in the Edmonds School District by increasing teacher quality and retention, we have positioned our district and our students for long term success.
Edmonds School Board member