Teachers strike for better pay, funding

Lake Washington teachers vote to join one-day walkouts in Puget Sound districts

Published:

 

Teachers in the Lake Washington School District will join a series of staged walk-outs in Puget Sound school districts to protest what they say is too little money for the state’s public schools.

In an email Thursday, union president Kevin Teeley said a big majority of his 1,700 members voted to walk out because they think that’s the only way to increase school funding.

“We have tried everything possible to compel the Legislature to fully fund public education as required by our state Constitution,” the email stated. “Walking out is a last resort — nothing short of a work stoppage seems to get their attention.”

Lake Washington teachers will stage a one-day walkout May 6, the email said. Superintendent Traci Pierce sent an email to families Thursday saying schools will be closed that day and a make-up day will be added to the end of the school year.

Thousands of teachers in 11 other school districts have decided to walk out for a half or full day. Schools in the Lakewood and nearby Stanwood-Camano school districts in Snohomish County were closed Wednesday as teachers there protested. Teachers in Arlington Public Schools also protested Wednesday, but only in the afternoon during an already scheduled teacher training session.

On Friday, about 2,000 teachers from the Anacortes, Bellingham, Blaine, Mount Vernon, Conway, and Ferndale school districts staged a one-day strike.

The state Legislature has been held in contempt by the state Supreme Court for not fully funding the state’s public schools. Lawmakers are working on crafting a budget for the upcoming biennium that they hope will satisfy the court’s requirements.