WEA members are getting the WEA we 2.0 magazine in the mail at home, and an I-1351 signature petition is stapled in the middle. If approved by voters this fall, I-1351 would reduce class sizes in every grade and subject.
First we need to collect enough signatures to qualify I-1351 for the ballot. Gatherings and celebrations this weekend are great opportunities to collect signatures from friends, family and neighbors.
A few tips:
- Confirm they are registered Washington voters
- Explain why you are collecting signatures and/or tell a personal story about how class size affects you
- Ask for their signatures
Your conversation might sound like this:
“Are you registered to vote in Washington? I am collecting signatures to put a measure on the ballot that would lower class size. I have 34 kids in my class. This makes it difficult for students to learn and teachers to teach. We are 47th in the nation on class size. Will you sign this petition to lower class sizes? This allows voters to decide in November.”
Return your I-1351 petition by April 30, either by mailing it to the WEA Petition Office, P.O. Box 9100, Federal Way 98063-9100, or by giving it to your building petition leader.
Reasons to support I-1351:
- Washington’s class sizes are 47th out of 50 states. We can do better!
- Students of all ages, from all background, from all parts of our state deserve to learn and succeed in smaller class sizes.
- Small class sizes are important for subjects like math and science, helping prepare students for success in the new high-tech economy.
- Small class sizes are especially important for struggling students, giving them the individual attention that they need.
I-1351 is based on the state’s Quality Education Council recommendations for class size allocations. Basically, for non-poverty schools, K-3 would be capped at 17 students and grades 4-12 would be capped at 25 students. For high-poverty schools K-3 would be capped at 15 students and grades 4-12 would be capped at either 22 or 23 students. I-1351 is consistent with the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which already ordered the Legislature to increase funding for smaller class sizes.
Here’s what will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot if the signature drive is successful:
Initiative Measure No. 1351 concerns K-12 education.
This measure would direct the Legislature to allocate funds to reduce class sizes and increase staffing support for students in all K-12 grades, with additional class-size reductions and staffing increases in high-poverty schools.
Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]
“I went to my daughter’s business office to drop off a gift, asked her to sign and whether she minded if I asked her co-workers to sign. I got her five co-workers to sign the petition!” said Bev Schaefer, president of WEA-Eastern Washington.
“Think about your bowling league, your Bunco group, sporting events, your kids’ soccer practice, games — think about every group you’re a member of, not just the school community.
“Our state is 57th out of 50 in class size. This initiative will put class size on the ballot. It’s pretty easy to get signatures.”