Eight local teachers unions—including the Lakewood, Arlington, Stanwood-Camano, Mount Vernon, Sedro-Woolley, Bellingham, Ferndale and Blaine school districts—have scheduled an illegal strike day in order to protest too little funding for the state’s public schools. According to the Seattle Times, “Teachers want to see better health-care benefits for school staff, more money to pay for voter-approved class-size reductions and higher cost-of-living raises than the state House or Senate have proposed so far.”
Arlington, Lakewood and Stanwood-Camano teachers scheduled their strike for Wednesday. Schools in other districts can expect their teachers to walkout over the next few weeks.
Other local teachers unions are expected to take up the issue over the coming days and weeks. Seattle’s teachers will begin the discussion of a possible strike next week once they return from spring break. And, tomorrow, Lake Washington’s teachers union will hold a vote on whether or not to take part.
Eastside Education Network, an organization founded to bring parents together to ensure successful public schools, recently contacted parents in school districts where teachers have gone on strike in the past in preparation for the scheduled/possible strikes. From the conversations, the network compiled a list of questions for parents to ask “school districts, school boards and teacher union leadership to help families prepare for any possible work stoppages.” Eastside Education Network,
- Buildings Open and Student Safety – Will the school building remain open on strike day(s) for the entire school day? If yes, who will supervise the students?
- Continuing Student Learning – If school is open on a strike day, will the district provide sufficient staffing to ensure student learning continues? Will striking teachers provide lesson plans for substitute teachers or staff?
- Missed Instructional Time – If school is closed during the strike, how will missed instructional time be made up? Extra day(s) added at the end of the school year? Longer school days? Something else?
- Helping Parents Plan Ahead – How much notice of school closing (24-to-48 hours? same day?) will the teachers union and school district provide to parents so that they can make alternative childcare arrangements? Are any other strikes planned for the rest of the school year?
- Free and Reduced Lunch and Other Programs – If school is closed during the strike, what happens to services like free and reduced meals for students who need them? What about after-school activities like homework tutoring or enrichment?
For more information, visit Eastside Education Network’s website here.