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WEA statement on Gov. Inslee’s budget

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Statement from WEA President Kim Mead regarding Gov. Inslee’s education budget, 12/15/14

“Teachers and education support staff across Washington look forward to learning more about Gov. Inslee’s education budget tonight. By all accounts, the 2015 legislative session will be historic in its focus on fully funding the public education our children are guaranteed by the state Constitution.

WEA members are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to fully fund public education, including smaller class sizes and improved compensation.
WEA members are urging Gov. Jay Inslee to fully fund public education, including smaller class sizes and improved compensation.

“In November, by approving Initiative 1351, Washington voters passed a law that makes smaller K-12 class sizes part of the state’s constitutional obligation to fully fund public education. It’s unacceptable for our students to be packed into class sizes that are 47th out of 50 states.

“We call on Gov. Inslee to respect the will of the voters and to begin phasing in smaller class sizes at every grade level as required by law. Moving forward, any effort to overturn or amend I-1351 is a vote to increase class sizes, denying students the individual attention they need to succeed in school.

“We also agree with the Supreme Court that fully funding basic education includes improving professional compensation for educators. As the court wrote, ‘Nothing could be more basic than adequate pay.’

“In addition to restoring the voter-approved COLA, we call on Gov. Inslee and the Legislature to follow the recommendations of the legislative Compensation Technical Working Group, which call for increasing educator salaries to be competitive with other professions requiring comparable education and experience.

“And after years of cuts in higher education funding, it’s crucial for Washington to invest more in our public colleges and universities.

“We believe the Legislature can fully fund the education our students deserve, including smaller class sizes and better compensation for educators, while protecting the social and health services families rely on. We suggest raising new revenue. Washington has the most regressive tax structure in the nation, with those least able to afford it paying the highest percentage of their income in taxes. That needs to change.

“Educators are committed advocates for Washington’s public school students, and we look forward to working with Gov. Inslee and our legislators in the coming months to make sure Washington is funding the quality education our students deserve and are guaranteed by the state Constitution.”

The Washington Education Association represents 83,000 K-12 teachers, education support professionals and higher education faculty members.

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I-1351: We did the right thing for kids!

Initiative 1351 is a huge victory for Washington’s 1,000,000 K-12 public school students. All students, regardless of family income, ZIP code or age, will now have the opportunity to learn in smaller classes. Along with hard work, it took hope, vision and courage to pass I-1351. As education professionals and union members, we can doContinue Reading

Class Size Counts declares 1351 victory!

Statement from WEA President Kim Mead: I am happy to share with you that Class Size Counts, the YES on 1351 campaign, has just declared victory! More results from King, Snohomish and Pierce counties were reported today, providing enough votes to retain the lead. You can read the Class Size Counts statement on their website. It’sContinue Reading

I-1351 lead increases to more than 11,000

Friday’s election returns increased Initiative 1351’s lead to 11,373 votes. That’s great news! More ballots will be counted Saturday. Visit  www.YesOn1351.com and the Secretary of State for updates.

I-1351 pulls ahead in the vote count!

Initiative 1351 to reduce class sizes has pulled ahead in the vote count. It’s currently at just over 50 percent. More ballots will be counted Friday and early next week. While ballot returns will fluctuate, if current trends continue, it’s likely I-1351 will pass. Check out www.yeson1351.com for campaign information.

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