At the SVEA General Members meeting, a member asked what options the Supreme Court is considering should the legislature fail to make adequate progress toward full funding of basic education. The plaintiffs in the McCleary case have offered several examples for the Supreme Court to consider. They are listed in the image below. You can read the entire June 12, 2014 Order to Show Cause here.
All Supreme Court documents related to the McCleary case can be found here. Also, check out the NEWS (Network for Excellence in Washington Schools) website for history and additional updates on the case.
Since Monday, there has been much work and collaboration to make our rally happen. Here is the plan for Friday. (Please check your home email for more information). Principals know that unless a meeting cannot be rescheduled, you are free to come and participate. If you are unavoidably kept from the start time, please join us when you can. Here are some changes that should help get everyone there:
On Friday May 15th, from 1:00-4:00, we will gather teachers, support staff, secretaries, principals, administrators, school board members, parents and students in one place for one voice. Please wear RED for Education.
The most central and visible location is the Snoqualmie Ridge area. Parking can be found at Cascade View ES, Ridge and Kinsey Streets.
1:00 - Secondary teachers will arrive, park, and proceed to the Starbucks parking lot closest to the Parkway to collect a sign or create one. (These will be collected at the end to send to another local for next week). The march will go from Center south on the parkway to Douglas crossing the street and heading back up to Center, crossing and the back down again.
2:00 - The secondary staff will make their way to the Community Park on Ridge Rd. The elementary staff will have arrived and picked up their sign at the Starbucks parking lot to join us at the park.
2:15 - This will be a great photo op, news media will be there, and there will be a few speeches. Afterwards the elementary staff will march around the same route mentioned above.
When your normal Friday end time comes, please turn in your signs where you got them and head home for a relaxing weekend.
See you there!
SVEA will be rallying on Friday after the regularly planned school day. We are still working with the city of Snoqualmie and the Police on the location of the rally. Please be there, wear Red for Ed and check the sveaunion.org website, and ourvoicewashingtonea.org for more information and updates every day. Please invite parents to join us.
Why join us? When it comes to class size both the Senate and the House propose to ignore the will of the voters. They actually propose increasing the class sizes now established in law by I-1351. And, they ignore all the other support staff necessary to serve our students. This is the law — and they need to make real progress. The Initiative 1351 law had its roots in the prototypical school the legislatures said was necessary but wouldn't fund and is part of the McCleary Lawsuit ruling. The legislature is currently in Contempt of Court with the Supreme Court.
Here is a quote that is appropriate. "Silence never won rights. They are not handed down from above: they are forced by pressures from below." - Roger Baldwin ( 1884-1981) co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union
The general membership voted strongly in support of a rally on Friday afternoon after the school day. The SVSD and the SVEA will be staging a unified rally for parents, students, media and in support of other WEA locals on Friday. We need 100% of folks to be there.
More information will be coming soon. Be watching your home email, this website, and the District website for more directions and information.
Below is a letter written to members of the Issaquah Education Association by their President, Doug Jones. It explains the frustration with the current proposals coming from the Washington State Legislature.
"For those of you who know me, you know that I am a person and a leader who believes in working together to do the best we can to improve our schools and profession.
I, along with your IEA leadership believed that with the Supreme Court on our side, with state voters supporting a law to lower class sizes K through 12, and with a growing economic base, the State Legislature and Governor would step up and fully fund our public schools. Although we knew we would not get everything that we believe is needed, lawmakers’ proposals for school funding are more alarming and raise far greater concerns than we had anticipated.
On Sunday [April 26], the 105 day Legislative session ended. In that time, lawmakers demonstrated they are not interested in finding the way to fully fund public education. As they move into “overtime” this Wednesday, for a “special session” to finish the job, we need to be sure that you, the members, know what is at stake. To put it bluntly, many of their budget proposals would harm the members of the Issaquah Education Association. A review of the budget proposals shows:
Class Size, Staffing Levels & I-1351
Test Scores and Evaluation
Levies and “Levy Swap”
4,000 WEA members, administrators, parents, students, and other education supporters rallied in Olympia this past weekend. Almost 20 IEA members were there. We rallied to support full funding, and listened to the Governor tell us that 4.8% over 2 years is the best we might get. Today, I am coming to you to ask you, is that enough? Are you and your fellow members willing to accept that and the other budget proposals summarized here? Soon, they could become law. If not, what should we - together – do, to let lawmakers know these proposals are unacceptable?
President Issaquah Education Association"
Voting to strengthen our union by increasing connections with future educators!
We are also discussing toxic testing, school safety, No Child Left Behind waivers, and joining the Washington State Labor Council. Today's session ends at 10 and we will be on the bus to Olympia at 7:30 tomorrow morning. See you there!
On Tuesday, March 17, we learned that Premera Blue Cross was the target of a sophisticated cyberattack and we sent out a notice to WEA members advising them about it and forwarding a web link where people can sign up for two years of free credit reporting and identity theft protection. http://www.premeraupdate.com
We've received several follow up questions from members and have summarized them below. People who have specific questions should direct them to Premera via the website, http://www.premeraupdate.com/ or its toll free number 1-800-768-5817, Monday through Friday, between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
Q. Do I need a code to sign up for credit monitoring and Identity theft protection?
A. No. You can sign up for both services at www.premeraupdate.com. Click on the button for "Free Credit Monitoring" and then "Enroll." Click the box that says, "I believe I was affected by the Premera/LifeWise cyberattack." It will take you to the sign up pages.
If you have children, please be sure to visit the "Additional Services for Children" site also available through the "Free Credit Monitoring" path described above.
Q. Do I need to wait for a letter from Premera to sign up for free credit monitoring and identity theft?
A. No. In fact, Premera is advising folks to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft services just in case. You can do that here:http://www.premeraupdate.com
Q. Is this a problem for employees who had Premera Blue Cross medical insurance or for all employees because of the dental insurance?
A. The security breach impacts people who were enrolled in any of the WEA Select medical and dental plans (except Willamette or the retiree plan), disability, life, long term care, Valic or the old Metlife/ UAL 403(b) plans and dues.
Premera is advising people to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft even if you haven't yet received a letter from them. If you weren't enrolled in the medical and/or vision plans, Premera may not have your address but is working on a plan to identify and contact this subset of people.
Q. Does this affect me if I was part of Premera in the past? Or, I'm retired, does this affect me?
A. It may. The breach goes back as far as 2002. Premera is advising folks to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft services just in case. You can do that here: www.premeraupdate.com.
Q. I'm not part of Premera. Does the security breach affect me?
A. It is possible. Many school districts process dues collection through Premera, so you may be in their system. Premera is advising folks to sign up for the credit monitoring and Identity theft services just in case. You can do that here: http://www.premeraupdate.com
Q. Why does Premera process our union dues? How does that work?
A. The WEA uses the Premera collection system to collect most dues from School Districts payroll deduction the same way that it collects and distributes premium payments for healthcare. Dues are distributed directly to WEA, Councils and Locals. The money is controlled by the WEA and Premera provides the collection function in partnership with WEA Membership Services.
Q. I prefer to talk to someone. Do I have to use the website?
A. The website (http://www.premeraupdate.com ) is where you can sign up for free credit reporting and identity theft protection. If you have specific questions, Premera has set up a toll free number to handle calls. 1-800-768-5817, Monday through Friday, between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.