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WEA supports Senate education budget, opposes House budget proposal

Kim Mead at House hearing
WEA President Kim Mead

Washington Education Association President Kim Mead’s statement on the Senate and House Democratic supplemental budget proposals:

“The Washington Supreme Court issued a clear order last November: To comply with the Court’s McCleary decision and the state Constitution, the Legislature must increase funding for K-12 educator salaries by around $1 billion before Sept. 1, 2018. 

“Washington Education Association members expect our elected leaders in Olympia to comply with the Court’s order before the Legislature adjourns March 8.

“Fortunately, following Gov. Inslee’s lead, the Senate Democratic budget recognizes the need to fund competitive, professional educator salaries required by the Court’s contempt order. The state Constitution guarantees every child a quality basic education, and that includes caring, committed and qualified teachers and support professionals. As the Court said previously, there is nothing more basic than adequate pay.

“However, WEA does not support the House Democratic budget, which does not include the funding needed to finally deliver on the promise to Washington students to amply fund their education by the 2018-19 school year. Washington students should not be asked to wait yet another year for the state to fulfill its constitutional obligation to fund their education. 

“Washington Education Association members call on House members to join their Senate colleagues and pass a supplemental budget that invests in the quality educators our state’s students deserve. The Senate budget acknowledges our well-documented shortage of teachers and support staff, and in a profession that is 75 percent women, it will begin to address gender pay inequities.

“Besides approving the additional state funding proposed by the Senate, we urge legislators to lift temporary salary restrictions scheduled for the 2018-19 school year. Restoring school district flexibility will allow local communities to compensate educators based on local student and school needs.”

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