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Everett School District Named in Lawsuit for Unlawful Use of Levy Funds

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Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn filed a lawsuit against 7 school districts including Everett. The Everett School District of course includes schools in the Mill Creek area (Henry M. Jackson HS, Heatherwood MS, Cedar Wood ES, Mill Creek ES, Woodside ES.)

Randy Dorn press release.

Superintendent Dorn hopes to force the legislature to fully fund education equitably.

Currently, School districts in Washington have widely varying compensation packages for teachers and school administrators. The Everett School District is famous for having some of the highest salaries in the state for both teachers and administrators. Local taxpayers, through levies, end up picking up the “negotiated” tab that the state and federal government agencies do not cover.

Everett teachers' compensation (for top earning teachers) already surpasses $110K a year. And for school administrators, Everett is again the place to work. Everett's top earning administrators (not including the superintendent) are making more than $200K a year. See the chart. Not too shabby for a public servant.

In the author's view, most school boards (whose members receive no pay) are not capable of standing up for taxpayers to halt runaway pay demands. School board members enjoy receiving awards and hearing rose colored news presented at school board meetings. They rubberstamp just about everything that the superintendent advises that they approve. They don't want to make waves by saying no to the teachers union or no to administrator pay increases.

Perhaps State Superintendent Dorn inadvertently opened a can of worms. Besides pay disparities for teachers and administrators between districts and the unlawful use of levy funds, let's address school board oversight or the lack thereof. Let's open up more options for families including expanding charter school choices.

Hopefully this lawsuit will bring some accountability as well as equity to all school districts in Washington.

Jeff Heckathorn
Mill Creek, WA

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