Today, the Lake Washington Education Association (LWEA) is holding an illegal strike day that has shutdown schools across the district as teachers walk out of their jobs. The illegal strike is part of a statewide effort organized by local teachers unions, with the support of the Washington Education Association (WEA), to pressure the state Legislature to direct more money to increases in teacher pay and benefits.
As Shift has reported, local teachers unions and the WEA are not happy with the 2015-17 budgets proposed by the state Senate and state House—though, thus far, the WEA has only attacked the Republican-controlled state Senate’s budget. The GOP budget proposal—just like Democrats’ proposal—assigns funding to reduce class-sizes for Kindergarten through the 3rd grade, altering the WEA-sponsored Initiative 1351’s push for class-size reductions that would swell its union dues. The change aligns with research that shows reducing class sizes to the extent demanded by I-1351 has no impact after the 3rd grade.
Local teachers unions and the WEA are attempting to portray the illegal strikes as an effort to benefit the future of our children. Of course, the scheduled illegal teacher strikes are just more of the same from the WEA, this time with the participation local teachers unions. It’s an effort to benefit itself, at the expense of children, and not—as the teachers unions claim—to benefit students.
If the strikes were really meant to benefit student, they would not hurt students. A recent email to students and parents from a Redmond High School administrator reads,
“We apologize for the late notice, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Redmond High School is canceling the parent meeting/workshop on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015.
“The objective of this meeting was to provide information for parents and their students about post-high school options and resources available to students interested in career and technical training programs, scholarships, loans, college applications and study help options.”
Of course, the “unforeseen circumstance” that prevents students from receiving information that allows them to better plan their futures is the illegal teachers’ strike. But, if the WEA and local teachers union are to be believed, setting back students from receiving this important information is for their benefit.
You can check out the full email below.