Educators are walking out of the public schools in Seattle on Tuesday, May 18th, joining a one day rolling strike wave of educators unions around the state, with a powerful message for the State Legislature: Fully fund education. These educators will be joined by many parents and students who are asking that the Washington State Legislature do what is not only right, but what is lawful. The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled the that State Legislature is in violation of state law and has mandated that they add billions of extra dollars to fund eduction.
Moreover, Washington State voters have approved I-1351 which would reduce class size around the state, yet the legislature is preparing to ignore that law. To make matters worse, the Washington State Legislature is getting ready to take an 11% raise, even while educators have had their voter approved cost of living adjustment revoked for the past six years, and now only offer educators a 1.8% increase.
DHARNA NOOR, PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Dharna Noor joining you from Baltimore.Thousands of public school teachers went on strikes across nine Washington State school districts on Wednesday. These single-day strikes are part of a protest against the new state budget proposal. The teachers, who are members of a union called the Washington Education Association, are demanding smaller class sizes, better compensation, and less testing. Teachers of other districts are set to strike this Friday.Joining us from Seattle to discuss these strikes is Jesse Hagopian. Jesse teaches history and is also the black student union advisor at Garfield High School, where teachers just voted to join the strike. Jesse is an associate editor of the acclaimed magazine Rethinking Schools. He’s also a founding member of Social Equality Educators. He blogs at I’mAnEducator.com and is the editor of More than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing.