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