Jay Inslee has a close relationship with the Washington Education Association (WEA). Inslee has proved—time and time again—that he is more concerned with appeasing his million-dollar campaign donor than improving education, particularly for disadvantaged children.
On this throw-back-Thursday, let’s recall these three times Inslee prioritized the teachers union over the children in their classrooms.
- When Inslee refused to call a special legislative session to address the state Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down charter schools as unconstitutional.
Rather than do anything to save charter schools, Inslee sided with the WEA and other special interest groups. Our green governor went as far as to justify the court’s bizarre ruling when he implied that charter schools are not public schools and therefore not a priority.
Notably, Inslee claimed that the top priority should be “making sure every child has a local public school that meets his or her needs.” Ironically, that’s exactly why Washingtonians passed the charter school initiative in 2012. The reality is that the public school system in Washington State is failing to meet the needs of every child. Charter schools sought to provide some choice for parents to move their children out of inadequate public schools which have failed to address their needs, especially those of disadvantaged children.
Inslee approved himself to be so beholden to the WEA that he could not even admit the truth: charter schools are public schools that deserve to be prioritized.
- When Inslee proved his die-hard allegiance to the WEA by refusing to call its illegal strikes what they were: “strikes.”
During a radio interview with KIRO’s Dori Monson in May, Inslee refused to even call the ongoing illegal teachers’ strikes—which were coordinated by WEA through local union affiliates — what they were, strikes. Rather, our green governor chose to use wording that was likely provided to him in talking points by his union buddies, claiming that the strikes were not strikes, but “protests.”
Inslee did not remedy his weak word-choice during the recent illegal teachers’ strikes that prevented children from starting school on time in Seattle and Pasco. Inslee’s continued insistence on turning a blind eye to the illegal strikes is, in the end, just another example of how far he is willing to ignore the law in order to support his the union that put $1 million dollars into his last campaign.
- When Inslee waited until after the polls closed on the WEA’s so-called smaller class size Initiative 1351 to say he was against it.
Inslee waited until it was too late to make a difference to inform Washingtonians that he did not support I-1351. Inslee appears to have thought it was okay to knowingly allow the WEA to deceive voters through its so-called smaller class size initiative if it meant he did not have to step on the toes of his major campaign donor.
At the time, Inslee explained that he did not take a public stance on I-1351 because he did not want to sway voters one way or another. Of course, his reasoning beg the question of why he would announce his support for other initiatives on the ballot.
As the Tri-City Herald put it, “It leaves us scratching our heads that the highest elected official of the state —a man who by constitutional mandate must submit a balanced budget each year — can see a potential financial crisis for the state and not say anything. That’s not leadership.”
The WEA put $1 million into a Super PAC supporting Inslee in 2012 and, as we all know, Inslee likes to give his donors a substantial return on their investments. In this case, Inslee gave the gift of his silence.
If only the rest of us could get that gift of silence from the “green” governor on most any day.
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