Kent teachers holding supply drive after district's $7M miscalculation; district disagrees

KENT, Wash. — Kent School District teachers are collecting paper and supplies Wednesday as the district is in the middle of a financial crisis.

But the district says the donations are not needed.

Teachers will collect supplies at Kent-Meridian High School and four other locations, but the district says teachers will have enough for the school year.

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The district is calling the supply drive an overreaction to their $7 million budget shortfall.

Parents in the Kent School District became aware of a possible paper product shortage from a flyer issued by Kent teachers and put on social media.

It asks for donations of toilet paper, copy paper and supplies, insinuating the 41 schools serving 28,000 students could run out of paper.

But some parents in the district have received letters from their child's school saying the donations are not needed and that the school and district are not soliciting or accepting donations.

The Kent School District says they have paper products budgeted, but admit they do have a hiring freeze while they try to make up for a miscalculation that put them $7 million in the hole.

Parents of Kent students want to know why.

“What the superintendent said was it's a miscalculation of resources and funds. I was like, ‘Miscalculate? How do you miscalculate $7 million?'" said parent Lisa Adams.

The district said they expected enrollment to be a lot higher this year, and the lower number cost them money from the state.

In addition to the supply drives, parents want a meeting with the school district, asking that the superintendent show them how the budget shortfall happened.

The state is overseeing the district’s recovery.