“This is a critical opportunity to make a lasting impact for public education and our students,” said Karen Cornell, a teacher at Cascade Middle School near Vancouver and a member of the Evergreen Education Association. “The crisis mode is over. We need to restore what we’ve lost and fully fund public education.”
“It’s what our kids deserve,” added Emily Humphrey, a teacher at Orchards Elementary and also an EEA member.
As educators, we are facing an opportunity that comes along once in a generation. Consider:
- The Supreme Court has issued a contempt order for the Legislature to increase K-12 funding.
- I-1351 passed and smaller class sizes for all students (and more support staff) are now the will of the voters. In a democracy, that matters and we can’t let legislators and others pretend it doesn’t.
- By law, the Legislature has to restore the voter-mandated cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for educators this year.
- The economy is expanding.
- Polling shows public education is voters’ top priority for the 2015 legislative session.
WEA members believe every student should benefit from qualified, committed and caring teachers and education support professionals. We’re advocating for:
- Competitive professional compensation, including salaries, health insurance and retirement benefits
- Smaller class sizes approved by voters via Initiative 1351
- Resumption of the voter-mandated COLA
- Solid funding for higher education to ensure college students receive degrees, not debt
The priorities were approved by the elected WEA board of directors in November. WEA members will have many opportunities to help achieve these goals in the coming months, both in Olympia and in your local community.
Click here to email Gov. Inslee and your legislators and tell them to fully fund our K-12 schools and higher education.