Prosser parents, students concerned after athletic director position cut

PROSSER, Wash. — In February, a levy in the Prosser School District failed, threatening the loss of programs within the schools.

“Shocked when it didn’t pass because essentially it supports our kids,” Rachel Phillips, a parent with five children in the district said.

Then, a replacement levy was put on the April ballot, in hopes it would pass.

“So, leading up to the April election, the board was telling us that if this levy did not pass sports would be cut, other school positions, programs would be cut. So, the levy passed and now our AD’s contract is not being renewed,” TJ Maines, a Prosser parent said.

KAPP KVEW obtained an internal email from Prosser High School’s Athletic Director Kevin Lusk, writing the district gave him notice of nonrenewal. Parents said Lusk is an integral part of the high school.

“He figures out all the buses, and if there’s weather problems, he’s in touch with all the other athletic directors, or if there’s complaints, he deals with all of that,” Phillips, who’s son is on the basketball team, said.

“It’s very discouraging and disheartening; I mean Kevin has been — he’s the heart and soul of the high school he’s been here for over 30 years,” Mains added.

Parents said they’re confused and concerned because they were told programs would be cut if the levy didn’t pass, but it did.

Now they’re facing additional cuts like changes to social studies curriculum and two credits taken from graduation requirements.

“If you cut credits, that’s never good for the kids — they should have as many opportunities to learn in a public education,” Phillips said.

Even coaches at Prosser High School have concerns. In a letter sent to KAPP KVEW, they expressed their worries that the district is cutting corners and could have wide-reaching implications for the safety of athletes.

“Who are we going to have do all these jobs? Why are we cutting the things that are closest to our kids?” Phillips asked.

“I don’t want any positions cut, but why the AD’s position — as a community we want answers. It just feels like the board hasn’t been very transparent, the superintendent hasn’t been very transparent, we just want answers, we want to know why that’s being cut,” Mains said.

KAPP KVEW reached out to the school district but hasn’t yet received a reply.

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