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Category Archives: Education Funding

Senate budget goes backwards on educator pay, shortchanges class sizes

A day after more than 400 WEA members lobbied for education funding in Olympia, the Senate released a budget plan that goes backwards on educator pay and health benefits and ignores the need to reduce class sizes in grades 4-12. Here’s WEA’s news release about the Senate budget:

Senate budget fails on teacher pay, smaller class sizes

The Senate Republicans’ budget plan released today fails to fund the smaller K-12 class sizes approved by voters in November, and it fails to fund the competitive professional compensation required to attract and keep qualified educators.

On educator pay and health benefits alone, the Senate budget is $368 million less than proposed by the House on Friday. The Senate plan reinstates the voter-approved cost-of-living adjustments for educators, but not the larger 4.8 percent increase proposed by the House. Although educators have not received a state COLA in six years, the Senate budget does not take any steps to address competitive, professional wages. The Senate plan also has no increase for K-12 employees’ health care, despite rising costs.

With no adjustment for rising health care costs, many teachers and support professionals will take home less money and will see no increase in overall income next school year. As the Supreme Court has said, “nothing could be more basic than adequate pay.” This budget falls far short of meeting the state’s obligation to fund educator compensation.

The Senate plan also fails to fund smaller class sizes for students in grades 4-12, which is current law as approved by voters.

“Overall, the Senate budget fails to fully fund K-12 public education as required by the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision,” said WEA President Kim Mead.

WEA members are advocating for a state budget that:

  • Increases salaries to move toward professional, competitive wages, recognizing that educators have gone six years without a state-funded COLA and have lost 13 percent to inflation, and legislators themselves are likely to receive an 11.2 percent raise
  • Increases funding for educator health care in line with increased costs, recognizing that the state health care allocation for K-12 educators has not increased since 2011.
  • Funds smaller class sizes in every grade level, with an emphasis on low-income schools, recognizing that voters approved I-1351 and smaller K-12 class sizes are now part of basic education
  • Raises revenue through a tax on investment profits (capital gains), taxes on polluters and closing tax loopholes, recognizing our current tax system is unfair and fails to provide adequate funding for education and social and health services

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Click here to email your legislators and tell them to fully fund public education.

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

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 distractionContinue Reading

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

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