WEA President Larry Delaney Testifies on State Budget
Today, January 12, WEA President Larry Delaney testified before the Senate Ways and Means Committee on the Governor Inslee's proposed operating budget, HR 5092:
"Good afternoon, I am Larry Delaney, a teacher and President of the Washington Education Association, representing educators across the state.
I am proud of the work of educators during COVID. We have turned on a dime, reinvented our practice and stood up for the safety of our students and communities. Those educators who aren’t already back in classrooms want more than ever to be back in our buildings with our students. However, this cannot happen unless the safety protocols to keep students, educators and communities safe are in place.
The WEA opposes the reductions to K-12 basic education funding during the pandemic when it takes more resources, not less, to educate students while maintaining their safety and helping them manage the increased mental, physical, and social stress. The pandemic has shined a light on the inequities that have always existed in education. Our funding systems were not designed for the irregular costs of operating in a pandemic.
In higher education, we have great concerns about the state funding reductions. Furloughs do not make sense in an educational environment. In higher education, program accreditations and course schedules do not allow for a day without a professor. Instead, that ‘reduction’ is just a cut to the system, one that ultimately harms students and our economy.
WEA calls on the legislature to restore the reductions in services to students and to put our schools in the best position possible to reopen safely and address the increased needs of our students.
We appreciate that the Governor has included funding for additional counselors in our highest poverty schools and for 2 days of paraprofessional training, and that he has made efforts to support the work that is needed to take on institutional racism.
We look forward to working with you as you continue to develop your budget proposals and as WEA advocates for equitable and just schools."