Message from the Superintendent - April 19, 2019

Dr. YeomansGood morning, 

There has been a great deal of distraction in the media this week, and I am very sorry it has taken the focus off what is truly important in our work - our kids and the great work taking place to serve them.

No one ever wants to be in a position of making reductions to resource allocations and staffing. They are very hard decisions, and every minute spent in looking over that information and making such decisions is painful.

It is important to remember we are meticulous when it comes to the work of aligning our resources for serving students and community. None of it is done lightly or with anything but the greatest care possible for all concerned. While it may not be popular and has been widely reported to be occurring with some other agenda, this is simply not the case.

Our reality of significant budget reductions is not to be minimized. It is also likely to become more severe prior to improving and have impacts several years into the future. This can be difficult when the reality is not a message anyone wants to hear. This is our current situation and we know that avoidance of the issue will only make it worse. Therefore, we are working closely with the Board of Directors and keeping employee groups informed. We will continue to do so until a solution for the coming year and a plan for future years is crafted.

Just as it is for most of our neighboring districts, we will experience painful staff reductions. Over the next few weeks, hundreds of staff members in Pierce County and thousands statewide will lose their positions. There is no blame in this situation, only the reality we must face. We communicated clearly last September that this would be our reality, and we are facing it now.

No one takes this work lightly. We have the deepest sympathy for the professionals impacted by the situation. As always, we will make every effort to minimize the impacts and serve Puyallup children well.

Legislators continue their work, and there are any number of possible outcomes to the current legislative session. However, at this time there is no comprehensive solution being discussed that will avert some of the very tough choices that must be recommended to our Board of Directors.

This is a challenging time. Let's make certain we remain focused on what matters most - our children. Thanks to each of you for your work and your professionalism.

Tim

Dr. Timothy S. Yeomans
Superintendent, Puyallup School District