Political Action HQ for WEA Members
Political Action HQ for WEA Members
Teachers in 45 school districts across the state have approved one-day strikes against the Legislature over school funding. See the list below.
The protests have spread to all parts of the state, from Blaine to Camas to Eastern Washington.
Teachers are walking out to protest budget plans that fail to fully fund smaller class sizes in all grade levels and that fall far short of funding the professional pay and benefits needed to attract and keep qualified educators for our kids. Click here to see a budget comparison.
“The target of this action is the state Legislature,” said Kris Cameron, president of the Wenatchee Education Association. “Thousands of teachers in districts across the state have taken similar action, and we are proud to join them.”
On Wednesday, educators in Lake Washington, Northshore and South Whidbey school districts staged walkouts. On Thursday, Central Kitsap educators closed schools. On Friday, teachers in Granite Falls, Franklin Pierce, Snohomish and Lake Stevens walked out against the Legislature.
Here’s the updated list of one-day strikes, which now total 40. At least seven ESP locals have voted to support their certificated colleagues as well.
“We’re protesting the Legislature’s refusal to fund smaller class sizes for all students, which is required by law,” said David Guthrie, president of the Shoreline Education Association. “Shoreline educators collected thousands of signatures for I-1351, and more than a million voters approved the class-size initiative. Shoreline educators know from experience that students benefit from the additional one-on-one attention smaller class sizes provide, and we find it offensive that our legislators in both the House and the Senate think they can ignore the will of the voters.”
Here are the big issues at play in Olympia, where legislators are in a special session but are making little progress toward approving a state budget.
The House budget provides $154 million more than the Senate Republicans for educator salary increases. While both provide at least the COLA, they can do better. Legislators themselves are in line to receive an 11 percent increase. Educators deserve more.
The House budget provides over $200 million more than the Senate Republicans for health care costs. In fact, the Senate doesn’t provide any increase at all — and they propose a state takeover of health care that would eliminate health care coverage for many part-time workers. It’s preposterous.
Funding Class Size and Support Staff
Both the Senate and the House propose to ignore the will of the voters. They actually propose increasing the class sizes now established in law by I-1351. And, they ignore all the other support staff necessary to serve our students. This is the law — and they need to make real progress.
Misuse of Testing
Standardized testing is out of control. Educators know it. Parents know it. Students know it. Why don’t legislators see it? Many legislators actually want to increase the ways we misuse tests — increasing the stakes and using results to place blame. Tests are supposed to help us help students — and we need lawmakers to stop misusing tests for inappropriate purposes.
Local Decision Making
The best decisions that are made about education are made closest to the student — at the local level. We also know that our collective voices — through local bargaining for issues such as improved pay and working conditions — lead to better outcomes for students and better ability to attract and retain quality educators. Some legislators believe they know better and want to institute a one-size-fits-all approach. We know education. We live education. Our voices need to be included in local educational decisions.
Update: Camas & UP make 31! Teachers in Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Franklin Pierce and Seattle all voted Monday to stage one-day strikes against the Legislature over school funding for smaller K-12 class sizes and professional pay and benefits.There are nearly 7,000 teachers in the four districts. More than 3,000 teachers in the Lake Washington, Northshore and SouthContinue Reading
More than 500 teachers in Burlington-Edison and Bainbridge Island staged one-day strikes against the Legislature Thursday. Marysville and Oak Harbor teachers are walking out Friday in protest of the Legislature’s failure to fully fund K-12 public schools, and teachers in Northshore, Shoreline, Granite Falls, North Kitsap and Peninsula are the latest to approve walk outs.Continue Reading
Now is the time. Next week, the 2015 Legislature convenes in Olympia — and it’s our best chance to win increased funding for public education, including educator compensation and smaller class sizes. As educators, we are facing an opportunity that comes along once in a generation. For the first time, perhaps ever, we have a confluenceContinue Reading
Over the weekend, a bill mandating the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations resurfaced in Olympia. The state Senate killed earlier legislation, but now it’s back under a different bill number: House Bill 2800. Email your legislators and tell them in clear terms why you oppose the mandated use of state test scoresContinue Reading
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