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Educators tell legislators in Olympia: We can"t lose any more kids to funding cuts

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Teacher Clarene Ricarte sings a song in opposition to the Senate Republican budget.

Clarene Ricarte has taught special education for 37 years, and on Monday, she went to Olympia to fight for the funding her students need and deserve.

“Legislators need to fund special education. They can’t cut us any further,” said Ricarte, who teaches in Stanwood-Camano in WEA-Fourth Corner. “We’re losing kids. They’re dropping out because we can’t give them the support they need.

“We can’t lose any more kids.”

This is the second week of Occupy Olympia and Resist the Senate Budget, which is drawing WEA members from across Washington to the state capitol each day. There, they protest the Senate Republican budget with signs, singing, social media posts and talking face-to-face with legislators.

Today is the halfway point in the 30-day special session that Gov. Jay Inslee called after the 105-day regular session ended last month. A small number of budget negotiators are in Olympia, but most legislators are back home in their districts.

May Occupy groupStill, WEA members are drawing attention to the harmful elements in the Senate Republican budget, which is bad for schools and students because it:

  • Reduces funding for special education
  • Reduces local control of public schools
  • Forces districts to lay off teachers and staff
  • Gives windfall tax breaks to Boeing and other rich corporations
  • Takes away the ability of teachers and staff to negotiate wages and benefits with their school districts

And just like Donald Trump's education plan, the Senate Republican budget doesn't provide the resources needed to improve our kids' education.

Email your legislators and urge them to oppose the Senate budget and support the House Democratic budget.

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