Category Archives: Teachers

Tips for getting I-1351 signatures this weekend

Weekend gatherings and celebrations are a great opportunity to collect signatures from friends, family and neighbors to help put Initiative 1351 for smaller class sizes on the November ballot.

Each WEA member should have received the newest edition of the we 2.0 magazine in the mail at home with a I-1351 signature petition stapled inside. Here are some basic tips to help you gather signatures this weekend.

WEA-Eastern Washington leader Bev Schaefer says, "Think about your bowling league, your Bunco group, sporting events, your kids’ soccer practice, games -- think about every group you’re a member of, not just the school community."

WEA-Eastern Washington leader Bev Schaefer says, “Think about your bowling league, your Bunco group, sporting events, your kids’ soccer practice, games — think about every group you’re a member of, not just the school community.”

Basics for gathering signatures:

  • Confirm they are registered Washington voters
  • Explain why you are collecting signatures and/or tell a personal story about how class size affects you
  • Ask for their signatures
  • Turn in your petition by April 30 (even if it’s not completely filled with signatures – see below)

Your conversation might sound like this:

Are you registered to vote in Washington? I am collecting signatures to put a measure on the ballot that would lower class size. I have 34 kids in my class. This makes it difficult for students to learn and teachers to teach. We are 47th in the nation on class size. Will you sign this petition to lower class sizes? This allows voters to decide in November.”

Reasons to support I-1351:

  • Washington’s class sizes are 47th out of 50 states. We can do better! 
  • Students of all ages, from all background, from all parts of our state deserve to learn and succeed in smaller class sizes.
  • Small class sizes are important for subjects like math and science, helping prepare students for success in the new high-tech economy.
  • Small class sizes are especially important for struggling students, giving them the individual attention that they need.

Class size recommendations:

I-1351 is based on the state’s Quality Education Council recommendations for class size allocations:

  • Non-poverty schools: K-3 would be capped at 17 students, grades 4-12 would be capped at 25 students
  • High-poverty schools: K-3 would be capped at 15 students, grades 4-12 would be capped at either 22 or 23 students

I-1351 is consistent with the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, which already ordered the Legislature to increase funding for smaller class sizes.

Here’s what will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot if the signature drive is successful:
Initiative Measure No. 1351 concerns K-12 education.

This measure would direct the Legislature to allocate funds to reduce class sizes and increase staffing support for students in all K-12 grades, with additional class-size reductions and staffing increases in high-poverty schools.1351MemberButton JPEG

Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The complete text of I-1351 is here. Learn more about I-1351 and its sponsor, Class Size Counts.

Don’t forget to return your petition!

Even if you haven’t completely filled your I-1351 petition with signatures, please return it to your building petition leader or by mailing it to the WEA Petition Office by Wednesday, April 30 so it can be counted.

WEA Petition Office
P.O. Box 9100
Federal Way, WA 98063-9100

‘It’s pretty easy to get signatures.’

“I went to my daughter’s business office to drop off a gift, asked her to sign and whether she minded if I asked her co-workers to sign. I got her five co-workers to sign the petition!” said Bev Schaefer, president of WEA-Eastern Washington.

“Think about your bowling league, your Bunco group, sporting events, your kids’ soccer practice, games — think about every group you’re a member of, not just the school community.

“Our state is 47th out of 50 in class size. This initiative will put class size on the ballot. It’s pretty easy to get signatures.”

350+ teachers rally against mandating tests in evaluations

WEA members rallied in Olympia Thursday to oppose legislation mandating state test scores in teacher evaluations. It rained a lot, but educators were undeterred. Hundreds of WEA members lobbied and rallied in Olympia Thursday against legislation that would mandate the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations – -a policy they say won’t helpContinue Reading

Message to Legislature: Vote NO on SB 5880 and HB 2800

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

Lawmakers face competing teacher evaluation bills

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 theContinue 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