To the Editor:

So Ellensburg School District is threatening to go on strike. Unbeknown and never made public to 99% of the people in Ellensburg these teachers received a 13% increase in pay last year. How many other people in Ellensburg received a 13% increase in their wages.

Donna Grassel is back claiming they should get a 25% increase this year to keep up with other districts. She is holding the school district hostage by threatening that teachers will leave if you don't pay them more. My message is don't let the door hit you on your way out. Get out. If your not happy with 13% increase in pay last year you will never be happy or able to live within your means in this town. Thirty-eight percent of the 3,352 students in Ellensburg come from families with such a low income we have to buy them lunch!

Yet you greedy teachers want to place an even bigger burden on those making the average wage in Ellensburg which has a median annual income of $36,016. Not one of you full-time teachers is making less then $36,000 a year. You think your doing such a great job. You're not. The average test scores for Ellensburg schools is 52%. That means 51% are NOT getting average grades and 48% are doing better then average — 51% is not a good number no matter how you look at it. If you're demanding wage increases of 25% parents should demand 25% higher grades from their children. Did you achieve a 13% increase in last year's school year in test scores? No!

Its obvious to those of us who pay attention that the McCleary Law made the district panic on future money for the schools. Kittitas County has been working with and listening to the woes of the ESD. This past week my Notice of Value arrived from the County. My value on a 1988 mobile home increased $85,740 and the last improvement I made on my place was in 2005. My property value went up 33.65%. Mobile homes are the target. Stick built homes increased 10 or 11% in my neighborhood. Folks in mobiles over on Tieton increased from 21% up to 32% We will be forced to pay for the McCleary Law. Next folks a ESD levy to take money from your new tax rates to pay for the greedy teachers! Income equality? Not in Ellensburg!

Pat Fischer



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