Thousands of teachers, students, future students, and parents, joined together in a rally and march in a “rolling strike” to demand fully funded education. The demonstrators marched from Seattle Center near the Space Needle, to Westlake Park in downtown Seattle. They were met with cheers and waves from the protest friendly sidewalk as they passed workers and tourists (and an occasional friendly honk from a “Ride the Ducks” duck). The energy was high as children and adults in support of quality education through smaller class sizes and higher wages for school employees marched through the city. State senator Jamie Pedersen was found marching hand and hand with his two children and said he supported higher taxes to fund education through “repealing the 1% gap on property tax increases, that’s responsible for almost all of our shortfall.”
Seattle teacher, Jesse Hagopian writes on his blog, http://www.iamaneducator.com…
“Educators are walking out of the public schools in Seattle on Tuesday, May 18th, joining a one day rolling strike wave of educators unions around the state with a powerful message for the State Legislature: Fully fund education. These educators will be joined by many parents and students who are asking that the Washington State Legislature do what is not only right, but what is lawful.
The Washington State Supreme Court has ruled the that State Legislature is in violation of state law and has mandated that they add billions of extra dollars to fund eduction. Moreover, Washington State voters have approved I-1351 which would reduce class size around the state, yet the legislature is preparing to ignore that law. To make matters worse, the Washington State Legislature is getting ready to take an 11% raise, even while educators have had their voter approved cost of living adjustment revoked for the past six years, and now only offer educators a 1.8% increase.”