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Hundreds of educators tell Legislature: More teaching, less testing, fund schools!

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Email here to oppose ESSB 5748!

More than 400 educators and parents lobbied the Legislature Monday to oppose a bill mandating the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations – and to support full funding for Washington’s public schools.

ESSB 5748 is bad policy, doesn’t help kids, doesn’t help teachers and is a distraction from the Legislature’s constitutional obligation to fully fund K-12 public education, including smaller class sizes and professional compensation,” said Tacoma Education Association President Angel Morton, who testified against the bill.

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Morton joined hundreds of other educators and parents in opposing ESSB 5748, which had a hearing in the House Education Committee Monday morning. In addition to those who testified, more than 320 educators signed up to oppose the bill. Dressed in red, hundreds of WEA members packed seven hearing rooms and wore stickers that said, “More teaching, less testing!”

“Tying student test scores to teacher evaluations will only make it more challenging to find quality teachers who are willing to risk their evaluation by teaching in high-poverty schools – the same schools that need the very best teachers. We need to create incentives for teachers to work in high-poverty schools, not barriers,” testified Sunshine Campbell, a parent and an education professor at The Evergreen State College.

Edmonds Supt. Nick Brossoit testified against the bill, along with Edmonds Education Association President Andi Nofziger Meadows.

The bill “is not supported by any research,” Brossoit told the committee.

After the hearing, WEA members met with their own legislators and urged them to oppose ESSB 5748 and to fund smaller K-12 class sizes and professional compensation.

“I came down to Olympia because it is important for our legislators to hear from teachers in the classroom,” said Derona Burkholder, a teacher at Sunny Hills Elementary in Issaquah.

Burkholder and others echoed Morton’s testimony: It’s time for the Legislature to comply with the Supreme Court’s order and begin to full fund public schools._MG_8994

At a separate legislative hearing later on Monday, WEA President Kim Mead testified on the House budget proposal that was released Friday. The House budget plan would increase funding for K-12 and higher education, but it falls short on fully funding the smaller K-12 class sizes required by Initiative 1351. It also doesn’t go far enough on professional compensation for K-12 employees and community and technical college employees.

“We appreciate that this budget proposal provides a substantial and significant increase in state funding for K-12 public schools and students,” Mead said. “However, the House budget proposal fails to provide the long-term plan for amply funding our K-12 schools as mandated by the state Supreme Court, and it falls short of the immediate need to invest in our children’s education

“While we appreciate that this budget reinstates the voter-approved cost-of-living adjustment for K-12 and higher education employees, it doesn’t go far enough to provide the competitive, professional compensation needed to attract and keep qualified and committed educators.”

The Senate is expected to release its budget proposal later this week, and then the House and the Senate will have to negotiate final state budget deal. Although the Senate passed ESSB 5748 earlier this year, its fate in the House is unclear. WEA members are hoping the bill dies without a vote in the House. Senators could try to keep it alive by tying it to the final budget, a move WEA members vociferously oppose.

House budget increases K-12 funding, falls short on pay and class size

Here’s the official WEA news release about the proposed state budget released Friday, which calls for more than $3 billion in additional education funding over the next two years. House budget provides major increase in K-12 funding, but falls short on class size and compensation The new House budget plan is a substantial and significant increaseContinue Reading

Message to legislators: Oppose ESSB 5748 and focus on fully funding our schools

WEA opposes ESSB 5748 and any legislation that mandates using state test scores to evaluate teachers. No changes or amendments can fix the bill, which passed the Senate and is now in the House. The bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Education Committee 10 am March 30 (a change from the previouslyContinue Reading

Whose side are LEV and Stand on?

Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters claim to support kids and teachers. Yet instead of working with educators to improve school funding, these groups spent Tuesday promoting controversial legislation that teachers oppose, ESSB 5748. ESSB 5748 would force every school district to use state test scores in teacher evaluations. The problem? There’sContinue Reading

The truth about ESSB 5748: State test scores tied to teacher evaluations

Help defeat ESSB 5748 — email your legislators! Earlier in March, the state Senate approved Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5748, which mandates the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations. WEA members staunchly oppose this bill and any proposal that mandates test scores in teacher evaluations. The Senate’s own bill report shows WEA’s leadContinue Reading

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