Friday, April 24, 2015

freedom in Olympia

April 24, 2015
  • Teachers disrupt student services with illegal strikes
  • How good is your school board at protecting student services from unions?
  • Special session and a tax increase to pay off Gov. Jay Inslee's union donors

"Action step for this week"
Want your school board to put students first? Want to encourage it to stand against union strikes this week?

Send them an email. See their email address here.

If the email address is not included on our list, check on the district̢۪s webpage.


The Washington Education Association decided last year that they would be unhappy about the Legislature, so they planned on staging one-day strikes this spring.

Since 2009, the state provision for education has increased 15 percent on a per-student basis. The priorities lawmakers have established respond to research, the court and the citizens they represent. Lawmakers of both parties have agreed to fund materials for students, full-day kindergarten and smaller class sizes in the grades where it makes a measureable difference.

Washington Education Association is unhappy about these priorities, and frustrated by attempts to secure accountability.

These strikes are not about money, but about control. Read more here.

The Freedom Foundation is working to get media coverage to the ways the union officials put employee interests ahead of students interests and how wrong it is for them to be abandoning their jobs.

If students are truant, they are taken before a judge. If families refuse to pay their property tax levy, they risk losing their homes. Even the Legislature itself has been found in contempt by the Supreme Court for not doing its part for education.

How can teachers  who have signed a contract to work 180 days  refuse to perform the paramount duty of the state of Washington without consequence?


The Freedom Foundation has just completed an analysis of teacher union contracts to document their impact on services -- Grading the Teachers Union Contracts 
For the top 45 school districts, representing two thirds of the students in Washington, we analyzed seven key values: Levy Spending Priorities, Financial Responsibility, Student-Focused Calendar, Class Size, Wage Fairness, Employee Choice and Reliable Service (teacher strikes).

What grade did your school district's union contracts get? See here


Government unions exist to increase the cost of services, lower the service levels and reduce accountability for government employees.  Employees interests are important, but should not be mistaken for the public interest.

Gov. Jay Inslee negotiated increases to government employees base wage over and above the other kinds of increases already received by 86 percent of state employees.  The current salary arrangement is not producing shortages of government employees.

But Inslee needs to produce results sought by the public sector unions who provided $4.7 million in contributions to put him at the negotiating table.

After funding education and other needs from the $3 billion of new revenue, the governor needs a tax increase of at least $1 billion to afford raises.  The governor's demand for higher taxes means the Legislature will not end on time (April 26).

The Freedom Foundation bought newspaper advertisements to expose this cronyism. See here

The Washington Education Association is running a radio advertisement to blast the Senate budget.

"State Senate Republicans just voted to actually increase class sizes" 
First, the Senate Republicans are changing the WEA's initiative 1351 to return to the existing staffing ratios for higher grades before they are implemented. This is not the same as increasing class sizes. 
Second, the House Democrats are also budgeting on the basis of maintaining existing staffing ratios for higher grades. What? No radio ads?

Third, without an on-site survey, nobody knows what actual class size is. The best we know is the ratio of staff to students, and currently schools have one teacher for every 18.2 students. For every teacher holding up a sign saying their class size is in the 30s, there must be some teacher somewhere else with a very different number. School boards have the responsibility for how staff are deployed.

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