LETTER: Superintendent’s job not easy

Dear Editor:

The title of the article “Teachers vote ‘no confidence’ in McCleary Supt.” bothers me greatly as a dues paying certificated staff member. This misrepresents the whole of the teachers represented by McCleary Education Association (MEA). Sixty-five percent (65 percent) or more of the teachers did note vote as such.

It disappoints me that our local Washington Education Association (WEA) office would represent us in this manner without a quality effort to obtain input and proper discernment. To me, after 36 years in my vocation, the incomplete or misrepresentation of our staff alludes to the possible reality that a regional representative of (WEA) has a different mission than we do as a school district.

Being a superintendent in a small district means you wear a ton of hats and have few to delegate responsibilities. Additionally, because a small district lacks economy of scale, being conservative with budgeting makes sense. I have not been involved in the bargaining process with either of the associations bargaining this year. I do know from experience that revenues and expenditures can be tough to have a pinpoint accurate figure on due to the various funding sources and the unanticipated expenses.

Relationships are extremely important in the work of education. We, as a community, must step back and realize that we may not have clarity to the truth of the matter regarding the budget realities and what may occur over the next 2 to 3 years in funding. For example, McCleary currently collects approximately 16-17 percent of its budget from local support via the 2-year levy. This is like a magazine subscription scenario for the district. We can hope the community will continue to support in such a manner every two years. It is not a guarantee the levy will be renewed though.

I attended the community meeting facilitated by the WEA in behalf of the classified staff. My noticings included that the information was vastly about revenue the district is projected to receive. Little, if anything, was presented regarding the projected and possible expenses the district may incur. In essence, what I have realized as a dues paying member is that sometimes our local agents do not represent my interests as an MEA member nor what might be best for the district in a long term view.

In closing, I believe our community will continue to support the maintenance and operation levy because it is best for kids. I hope that folks refrain from making judgments about people and leadership when one does not know all the facts.

Matt McCauley

McCleary School District certificated staff member