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Kent teachers organize school supply drive

10/12/2017
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KEA Paper Drive

Kent Education Association News Release, 10/9/17

Contact: Christie Padilla, 425-358-1342

Kent teachers organize school supply drive

District budget crisis causes shortage of paper and other supplies

Facing a critical shortage of tissue, copier paper, toilet paper and other basic supplies, Kent School District teachers are organizing a school paper and supply drive this week.

They’ll be collecting donations at five Kent locations after school on Oct. 11 and 12. (Locations and times are listed at the end.)

While facing a well-documented budget crisis, central office administrators insist there is no need to ask the community for donations. Teachers tell a different story. Supply cabinets are secured with padlocks and chains; staff and students are being asked to conserve toilet paper, facial tissue and paper towels; and teachers are being forced to return classroom supplies they’ve already purchased. 

(View photo of locked paper cabinet here.) (Toilet paper photo here.)

Kent Education Association President Christie Padilla says district administrators and the school board are sending mixed messages about the need for community donations, but teachers are committed to making sure their students have the basic things they need to succeed in school.

“As educators, we put our students at the center of everything we do,” Padilla said. “Our school district budget is in a severe crisis, so we’re stepping up to do what needs to be done. We need solutions and action, not blame or obfuscation.”

Padilla said the need for school supplies is real. Here are examples from selected school emails:

“Kleenex will be distributed to your classroom on a ‘as needed’ basis. 1-2 boxes at a time. Please conserve usage of Kleenex just to nose blowing, bloody noses, etc.… do not use them for cleaning up spills, etc.”

“Please only use paper towels for hand drying, and only use 1 ft of paper when doing so. Paper towels are not meant for placemats at lunch, cleaning up spills (I have rags for that, just ask), blowing your nose…etc. They are meant to ONLY be used for hand drying.”

“… I see students and staff use a lot of paper towels, when really we should be using less. So remember to remind your students and yourselves about the 1 ft rule when hand drying. “

“There will be limited amounts of Kleenex this year. My budget was reduced by 31% this year, so you can factor 31% less Kleenex in October which is when the product is brought in.”

“We have enough toilet paper/paper towel here to use. Just please conserve the usage and encourage your students as well to do so.”

“What my department head was just now told today, the district only wants us to order enough (supplies) to get us through two weeks at a time. Maybe that works for offices but it sure doesn’t work for a high school science department.”

“This is on top of the email we got from our copy lady saying we were almost out of paper so if we needed anything major printed we need to get it to the print shop (which has a 5 day out wait).”

“(A teacher) now has to return all the things she bought, wait for some arbitrary moment and try again. Meanwhile, no science experiments for kids.“  

Kent Education Association Paper Drive dates and times

Wednesday, Oct. 11, 3 pm to 6 pm

Thursday, Oct. 12, 3 pm to 6 pm

Kent Education Association Paper Drive locations

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Posted in: Education funding
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