Letter to the editor: They hope you won’t recall these betrayals when you vote

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The Battle Ground Public Schools replacement levy “Know The Facts” mailer bearing only those facts which the district chooses to share, arrived in mailboxes more than a week ago. Aside from wondering who paid for that, we noted their facts tell us this is “not a new tax” but rather a “lower tax rate” than in the past. Perhaps, but higher property valuations will likely minimize savings if there are any in individual cases.

We should examine some of the facts the district hasn’t chosen to recall, like how the teachers and the Battle Ground Education Association refused to open schools for 12 days during August and September of 2018, as they held the students, parents and taxpayers in limbo while they lined up along state Route 503 and Main Street in their red shirts, virtually with their hands out seeking a piece of the McCleary decision largesse. After all, if they didn’t get their “cut” then it would be gobbled up by others and they’d miss out on the windfall. Their tactics did result in a share of the pot.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic came to be known, and while espousing the need to protect students from coming to public schools (in Washington) those same teachers kept children at home attempting to keep up with studies over Zoom, while the staff collected normal salaries for doing far less than optimal work. This went on for over a year and the district’s children have paid the price for their teachers’ fears of COVID-19. In many ways they still are.

Many of those same teachers were conducting their personal business out and about, shopping in stores where some of those children’s parents were working, in some cases traveling and eating in restaurants when possible, etc. How does that compute?

Interesting, isn’t it, that schools in many other states managed to operate? One of our neighbors moved his family to Florida in part so his four children could attend in-person classes.

So while your black pen is poised over your ballot for Nov. 2 ask yourself if your children were paramount or even valued in these examples. Certainly your property tax dollars were accepted without discount. Meanwhile, yearlong paid sabbaticals were enjoyed by those who refused to do what they collected contracted salaries to do. They hope you won’t recall these betrayals when you vote. Taxpayers shouldn’t reward their performance table scraps.

Lee Moon, Battle Ground

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