A letter in support of Seattle Public School teachers
To the teachers and staff who work tirelessly everyday in our schools, teaching our children, the next generation of citizens in our country, many times in physical conditions that are not optimum for teachers or students, whose classes are many times beyond what a teacher can manage by themselves, with little to no money for adequate materials, who sometimes, because of a lack of classroom space, must take their lessons with them on a cart from room to room, who sometimes must take on the role of counselor or nurse because there is no money for trained staff and yet are evaluated by student’s standardized test scores which have little or no relationship to curriculum students are taught, we stand with you.
You have gone six years without a cost of living increase and no increase in educator health care as healthcare costs continue to rise.
You’ve been assaulted by high stakes standardized testing, which narrows and dumbs-down the curriculum and robs students of essential instructional time.
You have been asked to work additional hours without pay by the district.
You have bargained in good faith and now are striking for your members, for your students and the broader community.
Your requests are reasonable:
- A pay raise after six years with no cost of living increase.
- Guaranteed student recess for all students: Recess time varies wildly across the district, and we believe all students benefit from a guaranteed amount of time for play and exercise.
- Fair teacher and staff evaluations: Educators should be evaluated fairly and consistently, and the focus should be on providing the support all educators need to be successful.
- Reasonable testing: Too much standardized testing is stealing time away from classroom learning.
- Office professional workload relief: Office professionals do crucial work and play many roles – and they should be compensated for the extra work they do.
- Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap.
If millions of dollars can be spent on buying yearly contracts for a battery of useless standardized tests along with the costs of buying computers and paying IT staff to install costly systems and hiring data experts for each school, the Seattle School District can find the financial resources to support all of the educators’ proposals;
Parents Across America Puget Sound stands in support of the teachers and the Seattle Education Association contract proposals and also acknowledges appreciation of both School Board Director Sue Peters’ opposition and the opposition of City Councilmembers Licata, Okamoto and Sawant to Superintendent Nyland’s legal threat against Seattle educators;
Parents Across America Puget Sound appreciates your vision and your sacrifice.
Issused by Parents Across America Puget Sound Steering Committee