Resources and General Links for WEA Members and Families
WEA leadership and staff are working tirelessly to advocate for both educators and students during this time of uncertainty. That includes being in regular communication with the Governor’s office, the state Schools Superintendent’s Office and other state agencies to both receive new information from state leaders that we can share with you, and pushing those leaders for clearer guidance aimed at protecting students and educators.
Your Association is working to push districts to make every educator fully whole during the school closures. We will continue to work at the district-level to try and secure agreements for all public education employees to receive pay during the shutdown, and we will also continue to urge the Governor’s office to issue statewide guidance instructing districts to do so.
This page will continue to be updated as more information becomes available. Please send questions to WEA@washingtonea.org.
Free- and Reduced-Price Meals at School
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) promotes the health and well-being of children by providing nutritious meals to children. Public school districts, private schools, residential child care institutions and charter schools may participate in school meal programs. Many other low-cost and free services are tied to qualifying for this program such as low-cost internet, free educational resources and waiving of student fees. If your income level has recently changed due to an unexpected layoff, contact your child’s school district so that you can submit a new income verification survey.
In Seattle/King County, read about low-cost internet for families with children who receive free lunches through the National School Lunch Program.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides temporary cash for families in need. TANF benefits are based on your family size and income. A family of three, with no income, would receive a monthly TANF grant of $569. When a household member starts working, we only count half of the earnings against the grant. If a member of the household starts receiving unemployment or another type of unearned income, we would count the entire amount against the grant. To be eligible for TANF, your family must have resources of $6,000 or less. Click here for dditional information and applications.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called Basic Food in Washington, helps people with low incomes make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food. Additional information and applications can be found through the Dept. of Social and Health Services.
Pandemic EBT Cards for Summer
The CARES Act created a new program that will allow students who previously qualified for the free- and reduced-price meals program, SNAP and TANF to obtain an electronic benefits card to purchase meals over the summer. Newly enrolled families into SNAP and TANF will also be eligible to receive this benefit. More information about this program can be found here.
Food banks are still operating, although hours will vary. Check with your local food bank to learn about hours and any requirements, such as an I.D. that may be needed when accessing food bank distributions.
- Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
- Washington State COVID-19 Information Website
- Washington State Department of Health (DOH)
- National Education Association: What you should know about educators and coronavirus
- Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB)
- Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA)
- Washington Employment Security Department
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The Stand: Working People Standing Together in Washington state
- NEA Member Benefits