Should Pasco parents feel the sting of furloughs more?
During negotiations, the United School Employees of Pasco demanded that at least one of the district's mandatory unpaid leave days take place on a school day. That way budget cuts affect kids and parents, too, and not just employees.
As soon as the district settled on Dec. 22, the complaints started. Parents and students won't feel the pain, some teachers argued. They'll just see it as an extension of winter break.
Any thought that the furlough should have come on a Wednesday in the middle of vacation-free March wasn't winning any support on the board and administration side of the table, though. The board approved the furloughs on Tuesday.
"Our primary focus is to educate children," superintendent Heather Fiorentino told the Gradebook. "Our board is very parent friendly."
She agreed that many parents who drive up and drop off their kids won't feel much pinch of budget cuts. Those who are involved regularly see the changes that have come from reduced funding, though, she added, mentioning reduced arts courses as an example.
"We were trying to meet the union expectation as well as our mission and vision," Fiorentino said.