South Kitsap Education Association votes no confidence in the school district’s CFO

In a June 13 press release, South Kitsap Education Agency President Judy Arbogast stated that teachers in the South Kitsap School District have voted no confidence in the school district’s chief financial officer Sandy Rotella.

Arbogast stated SKEA is concerned about teacher layoffs and class sizes.

The SKSD board will hold a special meeting today (June 13) at 6 p.m. at the District Office, 2689 Hoover Ave. SE. The board will discuss SKEA concerns, budget strategies and potential legislative impact.

Arbogast reported an Aug. 26 meeting date is set to vote on the outcome of contract negotiations by ratifying the new contract or consider a strike vote.

Arbogast reported 88.9 percent of the total membership voted with 92.6 percent voting no confidence for Rotella.

“Teachers are very frustrated,” stated Arbogast. “We already have some of the largest allowable class sizes in the region. Twenty-three percent of our kindergarten through third grade students are in classes that are at or above the maximum class size according to the district's own enrollment data. Over the past five years, Arbogast stated, that 10 percent of teaching positions have been lost and in May the district laid off 10 percent more of its teaching staff.

“We are very concerned about what that does to our students and the quality of education and attention we can give them,” she stated.

According to Arbogast, teachers focused their frustration on the district’s CFO, because the district’s own budget numbers don't justify the need for teacher layoffs. She stated teachers also want to know why Rotella waited until April to inform teachers and the public about the size of the layoff and why South Kitsap has the largest teacher layoff of any district in the state.

“We’ve been telling Sandy Rotella since March that we have concerns and she hasn’t listened,” said Arbogast. “Teachers felt that they needed to send her and the school board a strong message.”

The current SKEA contract expires on Aug 31.


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