To the Editor: District support personnel deserve a living wage and job security

Saturday, July 24, 2010

To the Editor:

I would like to share my story with the readers. Remember, I am one of many.

I am entering my 15th school year as a paraeducator in the Shoreline District. I love my position and work diligently to help students achieve. I work with students who qualify for extra support in reading, writing, math, and English language learners. Over the years, I’ve had my “permanent” hours reduced from 8 hours/day to 6.75 hours/day. After 14 years, I still have no job security.

I am a proud product of Shoreline Schools. I am a single parent with a daughter who is a Shorewood graduate. We both live and vote in Shoreline. I have a current teaching credential, though not required for my position, but it is certainly beneficial to staff and students. I am a bargain for the district.

Even when I worked 8 hours/day, my income qualified us for the free and reduced lunch program for my daughter. I’m just now earning the same hourly rate as in 1994, when I left a previous employer. My income is so low that I qualify for food stamps and grants for utilities. On my income, I can’t afford to live alone and must share my home.

The effect of the removal of 1 permanent hour reduced my annual income AND raised my portion to pay for healthcare coverage. The effect was approximately $5037 total reduction in my pay for the 2009-2010 school year!

I, like you, deserve a living wage and job security. I believe the Shoreline District Administration and School Board are choosing to ignore the dedication and positive impact (on students) of their SESPA staff. Sadly, it FEELS like neither the Board nor the Administration even care.

Nancy Passé


Julie Houff,  July 24, 2010 at 3:14 PM  

Interesting article in huff post (below) about an example of what happens when folks (citizens) are not paying attention and are assuming that everyone with easy access to power or money will be open, honest, fair and reasonable.

Hmmm, sound very familiar?

I now believe even a favorite School District (with apparent background support by city contract signers) can abuse power and tax funds.

Apparently you folks (undervalued-by the SSD-certificated employees), and local history, preservation, meaningful town center, and ethics enthusiasts are of the first to get blatant clues.

It sure would be nice to rely on trust alone. But, but when officals and decision makers make it clear that they don't care what tax payers and citizens need by skipping over the transparency part of public process, it's time to draw them back to what democracy is all about.

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