I have gone back and forth between posting this or not for a few weeks. But maybe my observations working for CSD can help parents. I’ve worked in many positions at several schools. First of all, there are many stellar teachers and staff in CSD. As a parent and as a para educator, I will confidently say that Camas elementary schools are top notch. Secondary schools… That being said, the recent politics, lack of transparency, and bureaucratic sludge led me to move my family out of state. Having worked in school districts in Utah, Mississippi, and Florida, I already had a lot of experience before working at CSD. Camas was the first unionized district I’ve worked for and I will never do it again.
Upon hiring, CSD employees are automatically enrolled in a union, SEIU 1948 for classified, and CEA/WEA for certificated staff. These unions are thoroughly politically left wing. They tell union members who to vote for, when they can work, how they can work and everything in between. When I researched and realized my union dues were going towards specific politicians’ campaigns, like AOC, Bernie, BLM, and defund/abolish the police agendas, I opted out. I can’t in good conscience support those agendas. Camas educator unions are locally chartered, but nationally run.
Camas citizens were bamboozled paying for the PBL campus. $60 million dollars for a campus with over-priced, designer smart furniture, a Hollywood-level AV setup, and a NASA level fabrication lab, all of which is unavailable to 90% of the students. They should be honest and change the name to “SJW Academy” which would more accurately describe the imported Portland staff and campus views. I saw a high school sophomore hiding tears after a class where students were invited by the teacher to trash on police. His dad is a cop. I knew of a young man that got bullied to the point he called his mom to come get him because he didn’t want to march in the school’s Pride parade. Anti-American and anti-religion rhetoric are the status quo. They justify this by “we are PBL and we have hard conversations”. Hmm. Hard conversations are different from bitter diatribes and staff sarcasm. Enrollment at PBL is nose-diving. They are trying to recruit students even out of district to get enough enrollment to maintain funding.
I bring that up because that is exactly what the unions want our schools to be. A rollover for Portland revolutionary progressives. It sounds hyperbolic, but please research the union sites. These are the political entities that puppet string the administrators that run Camas schools.
I chose TX to continue my kids public education because each school district is independently run. The PTA actually has decision-making power. Educator unions are allowed, but are limited to pay/vacation/benefits negotiation; political agendas are illegal in public education. This is the case with most red states.
In my opinion, the biggest stumbling block in CSD is the discord and distrust that has grown between staff and parents. Teacher unions have turned parents into the enemy. Families paying astronomical property tax to live in Camas should be able to count on professional school administration who respects parent’s rights. And not have to weed their way through the latest social edicts and propaganda to reach an actual education for their children. Unions exist to protect workers. What do Camas teachers need protection from? They are not factory workers, we are not asking them to teach in a smelting plant or operate machinery or even teach in a non-air conditioned room. There is no reason whatsoever for educator unions except to infiltrate the classroom with politics.
The last year has taught us that WA unions will not negotiate. They even stonewalled Inslee in January when he told schools to open and they refused and told him he was using the wrong data. (Anyone can cry “misinformation”)
My reason for writing this lengthy post is to illustrate the core problem of unions in public education. Conflict of interest. I would like to see the educator union influence curtailed and more power given to parents. Although I am no longer in Camas, I still care very much for my friends and teachers in CSD. Teachers are politically bound to their unions. But parents are only bound to their children’s well-being. I would encourage all parents to vote for candidates that support school choice, parental involvement, and the dissolution of public sector unions. Peace out, Camas.
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