Category Archives: Education Funding

WEA 2014 legislative session report

Major win on teacher evaluations; lawmakers again fall short on COLA and class size

WEA members in Olympia to lobby for COLAs and lower class sizes.

WEA members in Olympia to lobby for COLAs and lower class sizes.

The WEA Board of Directors adopted three goals for the 2014 legislative session: Restore the educator COLA, reduce class sizes and promote and empower WEA members as the voice of the education profession.

The Legislature fell short on the first two goals: the final supplemental budget did not restore educator COLAs, and it did nothing to reduce Washington’s crowded class sizes. That means Washington educators will go six straight years without a state COLA, and Washington’s students will remain in crowded class sizes that rank 47th out of 50 states.

When it came to education policy, WEA members achieved a major victory by protecting our new teacher evaluation system from further changes. WEA members adamantly – and successfully — opposed legislation that mandated the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations. This win was consistent with the goal adopted by the WEA Board: “Oppose top-down, state-driven, micro-management of teaching and learning.”

On teacher evaluations, our voice was heard.

Now teachers and administrators will continue their collaborative work on the new evaluation system, and WEA is calling on the U.S. Department of Education to provide the flexibility we need to be successful.

For COLAs and compensation, WEA members are turning to the bargaining table and the 2015 legislative session, when the COLA is scheduled to be restored. Compensation has been, and remains, a top WEA priority at both the state and local level.

WEA lobbyists are working on their annual end-of-session report, which will be posted here soon.

Olympia fails again on COLA, class-size reduction

Washington’s new supplemental state budget does nothing to reduce the state’s severely overcrowded class sizes or to restore voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for teachers and other school employees. The new state budget does not restore educator COLAs, and it does not reduce overcrowded class sizes. Instead of fulfilling their constitutional paramount duty to fully fundContinue Reading

WEA still opposed to mandated test scores in teacher evaluations

Email your legislators and tell them why you oppose the mandated use of state test scores in teacher evaluations and then sign this online petition. Or call your legislators’ offices and leave a message. You can look up their direct phone numbers here (call your two state reps and your state senator). Or call the Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000Continue Reading

Despite defeat, Senate introduces another evaluation bill

More than 5,500 educators have signed an online petition opposing the test mandate, and more than 1,100 have emailed their legislators since Sunday. (Click here to email your legislators.) Even though the state Senate already killed a teacher evaluation bill by an overwhelming vote, Republican Sen. Andy Hill introduced yet another evaluation bill Monday – with noContinue Reading

Senate Democrats propose restoring COLAs, reducing class sizes

State Senate Democrats released a budget plan Tuesday that restores educator COLAs and funds smaller class sizes – investments missing in the Senate Republican budget released a day earlier. Restoring the voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) and reducing class sizes are WEA’s top budget priorities for this legislative session. Educators have gone five years without a stateContinue Reading