Seattle teachers voted Monday to strike on May 19 in an appeal for more funding from the Legislature, joining colleagues in about two dozen other school districts.
Seattle’s teachers voted Monday to hold a one-day strike, joining colleagues in about two dozen other school districts that have staged or are planning similar walkouts to pressure state lawmakers to budget more money for lower class sizes and higher teachers’ wages.
Seattle teachers scheduled their walkout for May 19, a school day.
Other districts where teachers plan upcoming walkouts include Lake Washington and Shoreline. And Snohomish, Lake Stevens and Franklin Pierce voted Monday to stage a walkout on Friday, according to the Washington Education Association.
On April 25 — a Saturday — more than 4,000 teachers and their supporters traveled to Olympia to rally on the steps of the state Capitol’s legislative building.
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Lawmakers began a 30-day special session last week to seek a compromise on the 2015-2017 state operating budget, including how much to spend on education to satisfy the requirements of the landmark Supreme Court ruling on school funding known as the McCleary decision.
This year, state House Democrats and Senate Republicans have proposed spending between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion to satisfy the court’s order to increase the amount of money that the state provides to its public schools.
The Democrats’ budget included a slightly larger cost-of-living increase for teachers than did Senate Republicans, and also contributed more money toward health insurance for K-12 employees.
Neither side’s proposed budget would reduce average class sizes in grades 4 through 12, which voters approved last fall when they passed Initiative 1351, following a campaign largely financed by the Washington Education Association.