Seattle Public Schools parents warned that school might be delayed; union plans West Seattle picketing

5:16 PM: With one week until the scheduled start of classes, Seattle Public Schools is formally warning families that school might not start on time. The district has just started sending robocalls and e-mails telling families to have a backup plan just in case its lack of a contract with the Seattle Education Association delays the first day of school. As noted here last night, union members voted Monday to reject the newest offer and are not scheduled to meet again until next Tuesday.

ADDED 6:10 PM: SEA says it will have informational pickets this Thursday, 3-6 pm, at spots including Fauntleroy and 35th SW here in West Seattle. Meantime, read on for the full text of the e-mail sent to SPS families:

The Seattle Education Association (SEA), which represents teachers, rejected the district’s latest contract proposal. They plan to meet again on September 3 to vote on whatever the proposal is at that time.

With the start of school on September 4, we are encouraging families to develop back=up plans should Seattle Public Schools not open on time.

We realize the impact a labor strike would have on our families. We are working with child care providers and the City of Seattle to develop options for your students in the event school is not in session on September 4. Those resources, along with other information, will be posted tomorrow at We will send you additional messages as new information is available.

Again, we are working to reach an agreement with teachers, but it is possible that school will not start on September 4. Please visit for additional information.

Thank you for your patience and support during this time.

58 Replies to "Seattle Public Schools parents warned that school might be delayed; union plans West Seattle picketing"

  • smokeycretin9 August 27, 2013 (5:26 pm)


    Every year they wait until the last minute when they could have been negotiating all summer. BUT NO! now they have Seattle by the short and curlies.

  • West Seattle Hipster August 27, 2013 (5:44 pm)

    I am on the teacher’s side, they deserve whatever they can get.

  • add August 27, 2013 (6:02 pm)

    I don’t understand why they have to wait a full week, the DAY before school is supposed to start, to vote again. If it’s another “no” vote you can guarantee it will be at least another week before school can start. Can’t they get heads-down and try to come up with something all can agree on by the end of the week, or even over the weekend???

  • Gene August 27, 2013 (6:22 pm)

    Well gee if we’re taking sides– I am on the kids sideTHEY deserve all they can get- shame on the district & the teachers.

  • Heather August 27, 2013 (6:28 pm)

    They generally HAVE been negotiating all summer, but have been unable to come to a reasonable compromise by the time school starts.

  • Maison August 27, 2013 (6:40 pm)

    Maybe teachers should be paid what they are worth, instead of contract dictating what they get. Unions suck and obviously don’t care about the kids. It’s all about the dollar.

  • Louisa August 27, 2013 (6:48 pm)

    What happened to all of the increased funds that the Legislature supposedly made available to education…..why hasn’t the School District passed it on to teachers? Enough controversy around our kids!

  • WorkingMom August 27, 2013 (6:50 pm)

    Wonder how long of a period my backup plans should cover. A day? A week? Might regret our decision to go public before school even starts?

  • Lolaleah August 27, 2013 (7:13 pm)

    So so so so happy I live in the highline district. For so so so many reasons! Good luck SSD parents!

  • Ann August 27, 2013 (7:19 pm)

    Pervasive dysfunction strikes again. Pun intended. I think teachers, administrators and school board members should be fined for each day kids are left in the lurch because these grown ups are unable to come to resolution.

  • DTK August 27, 2013 (7:43 pm)

    It’s all about the children.

  • beef August 27, 2013 (7:44 pm)

    ah sorry sightedness on you commenters. no pay increases for what, 5-6 years and then the school district wants to expand their class sizes. Shame on the residents of Washington for not providing sufficient monies for the students. Shame on SPS for not having class lists finalized because they decided to start a computer upgrade in the middle of the summer.

    anyone who blames the teachers for this mess needs to think and read a bit more. your automatic anti union screed marks you and not in a good way. you expect high things from youth yet you marginalize and belittle the people responsible for their growth and development.

  • Jeremy August 27, 2013 (7:57 pm)

    Thank you Beef!! Well said. Let’s look at the cars driven by the teachers…then at the school board members. That should say a little. Pay the people that are responsible for raising our children!

  • Susie August 27, 2013 (7:58 pm)

    The kids and families suffer when this happens every time right before school starts. Teachers do deserve more pay but is this in the best interest of the families and community support of public edication? NO!

  • Gabby August 27, 2013 (8:02 pm)

    I’m not a teacher and I’m not an SPS parent (yet) but this is about much more than salaries, and without the union in place for public school teachers it would be our kids that get the shaft.

    Without their negotiating power Seattle public school class sizes would have gone up even more (class sizes here are already DOUBLE what the ideal size is). Many Seattle elementary classes, for example, creep up to 30 kids when the ideal size is 16.

    Launching the evaluation of teachers based on test scores at the exact same time the district is about to implement new ‘Common Core standards’ without having adapted curricula for these new standards is simply insane. It would be like your boss evaluating you now on something your workplan has you doing next year. Would you sign off on that??

    And lastly, although I have never been union and will probably never be union, I am grateful for unions because they fight on behalf of all workers, ultimately. They help pull up the standards for what workers everywhere should be entitled to whether they represent you or not, from livable salaries to health insurance coverage to retirement benefits.

  • HEW August 27, 2013 (8:03 pm)

    Bargaining teams have likely been working on contract negotiations for months. The union is doing what is best for students AND teachers at the same time. Speaking as a teacher, in a different district, over crowded classes are NOT the optimal learning environment for student success. Along with over crowded classes comes more teacher workload and less time to do it, with higher expectations and no pay compensation…..which will eventually lead to quality teacher burnout and then you’re left with inexperience for your students.
    I fully support and respect the effort that the union has put into making their students successful and their teachers happy. It’s a tough balancing act, but over crowded classrooms are nonnegotiable if student success is the goal.

  • Ivan Weiss August 27, 2013 (8:03 pm)

    People need to calm down. None of this means, necessarily, that there will be a strike. No strike authorization vote has been taken, nor has one been scheduled, If the teachers decide, democratically, that they will work under the old contract until a new one is agreed to, then that’s exactly what will happen.
    Scare headlines, like “Strike looms” (KIRO) are neither accurate nor helpful.
    As to the merits, I agree with the comments of beef, immediately above. I doubt that there is an anti-teacher or anti-union commenter on this thread who does as much for our children, day in and day out, as any teacher in the district. The teachers have my total support.

  • HP gal August 27, 2013 (8:04 pm)

    I am an SPS teacher, and there is so much misinformation out there. The SEA has been very successful at getting that misinformation our. Here are the facts:

    This is not about class size. This district already took that off the table.

    This is not really about pay. The district is offering 2% raises over each of the next two years. The SEA is holding out for 2.5%.

    This is about something truly asinine. In the 1970’s the district saved money by reducing the elementary teachers’ work day to 7.0 hours. Secondary teachers work 7.5 hours. We get paid the same amount of money. The district is asking elementary teachers to start working 7.5 hour days. They want us to tag on a extra half hour to the day for collaboration time. What is wrong with that? Nothing.

    I went to the meeting yesterday and had to leave early. I gave in my paper ballot and was asked by the person receiving it: are you sure you want to vote that way? Do you know what you are accepting?

    I am so sorry to all of the SPS parents out there. I’m frustrated as a teacher that I am forced to be a part of the SEA. It is a ridiculous excuse for a union.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident August 27, 2013 (8:06 pm)

    Well beef, if you look at the data, the budget for schools HAS increased EVERY year. The problem is that more and more of the funds are being directed toward the administration side of the machine instead of the class side of it.
    When Seattle schools were considered some of best in the country the ration of admin to students were like 1 to 30. Now that ratio is about 1 to 10.
    Spending on services like ESL and providing any and all publications in over 50 languages have run the costs up, while depleting the class side.
    I do agree with rating teachers, but NOT the way that is being proposed.
    There is a hidden issue also. It is almost impossible to get rid of bad teachers (you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think they are out there), they just get passed to other schools.
    The Union dues also take a bite out of teachers salaries
    I really don’t know why people are surprised by this, it happens EVERY year. The WEA mandates that at least 2 districts per year will go on strike. This year it looks like it might be Seattle and South Kitsap.

  • Arbor Heights Resident August 27, 2013 (8:08 pm)

    So sad, my son starts his first day of kindergarten and has been counting down the days…not looking forward to telling him the night before that it’s not going to happen. How do you explain this to a 5 year old? Give teachers what they deserve!

  • Ann August 27, 2013 (8:25 pm)

    I’ll add lawmakers to my list of those who should be fined also. The system we have in place does not work. The teachers are not high and mighty nor are the administrators. I know some GREAT teachers and I know some that should be canned but they are just shuffled around to various classrooms and schools because their contract protects them. I know some GREAT administrators (in school and district level) and I’ve seen many who should have never been hired in the first place. SPS lacks the resources (and probably the skill sets) to attract and retain good people consistently. In my four years of perspective I’ve been underwhelmed. My kids seems to be ok, unaffected, but quite honestly I want more than ok. I want THRIVING!! We all have skin in this game and the blame has to stop.

  • NeighborMom August 27, 2013 (9:06 pm)

    I told my 5 year old son all about it — didn’t even bias him with my pro-teacher stance! He needed to know more than 24 hrs in advance that he might not be starting school on Wednesday. That’s ridiculous…

  • A SLP August 27, 2013 (9:06 pm)

    HP Gal you might have missed this because you left the meeting early but the district is also not willing to bargain caseload/workload limits for ESA staff (Psychologists, Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational and Physical therapists). Classroom teachers get class size limits but we are expected to keep on adding students to our caseload regardless if we can ethically provide the services they need. Year after year caseload language has not been added for ESAs. It is true that special education does not impact the majority of the students but for the students who do need services to access the curriculum it is not fair.
    I am a member of the same union as teachers and I pay the same union dues and I deserve the same protection BUT most importantly the students deserve therapists who can provide what they need. Therapists can work in the school setting or private sector. Once all the talented therapists get tired of dealing with a school district that does not value them they will leave. To meet legal IEP requirements the school district will have to hire contract therapists that will end up costing them way more then if they would just bargain reasonable caseload/workload limits.

    Thank you to the people who do support and value the teachers and educators. The last thing we want is to strike but we also want to be able to provide the best education possible to your students!

  • Jeff August 27, 2013 (9:09 pm)

    This time, the last-second nature of the crisis rests solely with the District.

    People, teachers spend 8 hours a day with your kids… so stop with the “shame on them” and “it’s about the kids” stuff… They GET it, and they LIVE it!

    The fact is, half the issues on the table are DIRECTLY about teachers fighting for what kids need.

    And the other half? Well, when a teacher fights for a raise that is LESS than cost-of-living, and fights for a realistic caseload so that they can actually DO a good job… are they greedy?

    I’m not automatically “pro union” by any means. But in this case, teachers fight for the kids they see every day, while the District fights for the bottom-dollar spreadsheets they see every day!

    Good grief. If you can do it better, sign up! otherwise…

    THANK YOU TEACHERS, for fighting for our kids while legislators, school board members, and uninformed haters try to erode your ability to do the work you’ve dedicated your life to!!

  • EduFirst August 27, 2013 (9:11 pm)

    To smokeycretin9 and others who may be may not be aware.

    The union, including teachers and education support staff HAVE been negotiating since beginning of May, when the district was ready.

    So to put blame on teachers for waiting until a couple days before classes start is ignorant and false.

    Ex-Westwood Resident almost spot on. The money is getting wasted at the administration level. There are promises made by the administration that were not kept. They are willing to loose millions of dollars in state and federal dollars by not funding or putting in pieces that were promised or required at the state or federal level. However, the person is way out of line in regards to the WEA mandating at least two districts go on strike. That’s false. Educators in our state (and I’m sure many others) would prefer… to get paid instead of striking. So if any district’s teachers can avoid it, they will. But there isn’t a mandate at the state level that requires a strike.

    To HP Gal – Unfortunately is posting misinformation. Elementary teachers were willing to work that extra half hour…. providing that half hour is used for reinstating the art/music/physical education that was stripped away from them. They’ve made that very clear and was made clear at the meeting.
    The union pushed back about the student class size and the district backed off.

  • Gene August 27, 2013 (9:19 pm)

    Shame on Washington residents??? Seems like every School Levy had been passed in recent years- so what the heck are you talking about Beef? Maybe mismanagement of funds by district & school boards? Maybe inaction by State Government? This is a tired tune teachers & districts play & the losers are the kids. The timing is also standard operating procedure .

  • near alki August 27, 2013 (9:19 pm)

    Very good HP Gal…thanks for your input. Sounds like both sides are close to an agreement if both sides are willing to negotiate and compromise…a little. If another teacher has a different viewpoint I love to hear it.

  • seaParent August 27, 2013 (9:27 pm)

    HP gal:

    So it sounds like the district want to reduce compensation by 6.5%,asking employees to work 1/15 more time for no additional pay. If my boss asked me to work more for the same pay, I’m not sure I would find that fair.

    Everyone is obviously entitled to their own opinion, but to this parent teachers seem underpaid already, and asking them to work more time for the same pay makes the situation worse, not better.

  • joel August 27, 2013 (9:28 pm)

    every year new tax levies in Seattle are approved for schools and parks. yet every year there is a strike or threat of a strike by teaches and I am still paying $25 yearly discovery pass fee for the parks.

    where does my property tax levy money go to? oh wait…500k just went to Nicksville and the rest probably chipped in for the raid at Sea Tac today.

    Money WELL spent!

  • Karl August 27, 2013 (9:34 pm)

    Great…..possible delay on the speed traps around the schools

  • sara August 27, 2013 (9:38 pm)

    Systemic inequities. From the top down starting in the other Washington: The US education system is not funded, period. As usual, the minions clamor over crumbs while the big pie is gobbled up by the federales! Stop attacking your teachers and local folk. An educational march on DC is the real issue folks! When the US starts treating our young people like important contributors to our nation, THEN, and only then, will our education system match those of other more educated countries. Our nation sucks when it comes to supporting education. It’s not about SPS, they’re just another symptom.

  • Mike August 27, 2013 (9:42 pm)

    Shut the public school system down. Hand out vouchers. Let the free market work. No more unions. Competitive salaries. Quality teachers.

  • Heidi August 27, 2013 (9:49 pm)

    The teachers voted against it to take a stand against larger class sizes. It actually is a stand for the students. The District closed too many buildings (just like the people looking at independent data said) and now they want to make up for it on the backs of our kids. So yes, I stand with the teachers, and all of our kids. And with you, the people paying for the Levies with their property taxes. We want excellent schools, not schools with class sizes too big to learn in.

  • WSTeacher August 27, 2013 (9:51 pm)

    Not sure what meeting HP Gal attended, but elementary instructors were willing to work that extra half hour providing it was used for PE, music or art, which was taken away from us.

    I’ve got friends who work for WEA and asked about their requirement for two districts to strike each year. The response was essentially that ex-Westwood must be enjoying the new law in place regarding weed. There is no such mandate.

    What stinks is that the district wants to instigate testing that targets only two grades using testing that no other state school district does – and wants to change it to a different test after a year. How in the heck is the data going to be valid or be useful? Banda and the district need to attend our compare and contrast lessons.

    Testing for purposes of evaluating instructors is always a tough one. Yes, there should be something in place to gauge where the students are coming in and when they leave. But you also need to provide appropriate handicapping to the scores / results against us so that it factors real life issues such as English as Second Language students, students with learning disabilities, students transferred in mid-year.

    Everyone, I’m sure, remembers the stupid bell curve. Apparently the district wants to use the new testing to be based on the curve. That’s fair how???

    I love my students. I want to teach. I would rather be in the classroom than on a picket line. However, I also want what’s best for the student and what the district wants is not in their best interest. It’s mostly self service and trying to make it harder to retain quality teachers and make it harder for your child to learn anything other than what would my their evaluation testing scores better so that I can keep my job. And that’s not what I want. And I hope not what you want.

  • Amanda August 27, 2013 (9:54 pm)

    We do vote for the School Board correct? Why do we keep voting the same people into power? It seems to me that the real problem lies with the SSD, and not necessarily the SEA or the Educators themselves. If you give an inch, the SSD seems to take a foot. Or am I wrong there? The fact that teachers have to reach into their own pockets for supplies for their kids / classrooms is an absolute travesty. More power back to the educators please!

  • Alex August 27, 2013 (9:55 pm)

    Teachers are good. Unions are good too.

  • beef August 27, 2013 (9:58 pm)

    blaming the teachers is counterproductive, in general, they give all they have to give. they want to see our children succeed. it benefits us all to have them succeed.

    blah blah blah. they have it so easy. only have to work 9 months out of the year. i’m pretty sure most jobs don;t entail dealing with 30 grade schoolers, 90 middle schoolers, or 120+ high schoolers. who all have different expectations, capacities, and goals.

    really, think people. these people have chosen to sacrifice for the betterment of our society and all the vocal mass wants is to tear them down.

    free market my ass. a strong public education is what made the US what it is today.

  • Edufirst August 27, 2013 (10:05 pm)

    A SLP and SeaParent are on point. I forgot about how the district wants to add unnecessary costs by hiring private contractors for therapists instead of designing better case loads and work from within. A shame. And the students loose.

    It’s tough to fight for sub-cost of living wage increases. Yes, times are tough all around, but how about a little help here. I have a family I have to feed too.

  • don'tcomplainsomuch August 27, 2013 (10:25 pm)

    I am a West Seattle parent of 3. All my kids attend SPS. My oldest has been attending Seattle public schools since kindergarten. She will be a senior this year. This is our 13th start to the school year and we have yet to experience a delay to start of school. Union and district have always worked things out. Kids have always been back to school on schedule. Not a bad track record as far as I am concerned. I have always been impressed with how union and district have resolved contract issues. AND if on the slim chance they actually strike, don’t worry, your little babies will survive the delay.

    This is a HUGE improvement since my days of Renton Public schools when I attended K-12. I had several years with delay due to negotiation issues. And believe it or not, I turned out ok…have a job and pay taxes…what more could you ask for…yippie.

    So get over it people! Big deal if it inconveniences YOU for a week or so. It’s NOT about you.

    Let’s work on supporting our teachers (who deserve SO much more than they get). AND let’s focus on parenting our kids well so we send them to school truly ready to learn. Let’s parent well so the teacher can teach and DON’T need to parent our kids for us.

    And if you’re tired of pathetic public education funding by state and feds then STOP hosting bake sales and auctions. Put your time and energy toward advocating for public policy that ensures public education be well funded. I agree with Sara, put the fire to their toes. They will never fund education if we keep pandering to them…they have us right were they want us…clamoring over crumbs…

  • Edufirst August 27, 2013 (10:25 pm)

    Amanda – yep. We vote the school board in. However, they don’t have any say in the negotiations and once the district and the educators are ready to ratify the contract, the school board makes the approval to finalize everything or deny it and force the district and educators to go back to the table.

  • teachernewtosps August 27, 2013 (10:38 pm)

    Thank you for your support. I am waiting to hear if I’ve landed job offers in WS SPS schools. I will likely spend $500+ for the classroom this week. I will work in the building all day, then at home all evening. I want our children to succeed and will do whatever it takes.

  • WSTeacher August 27, 2013 (10:43 pm)

    What’s also not being said is that the district doesn’t want to help para educators that assist teachers in the class and work more closely with students with learning or behavioral disabilities on providing professional development.

    Also, the district keeps wanting to pile more and more work on the office staff (secretaries) which are unrealistic. There’s a finite amount of time and they expect the secretaries to do more for less money.

    And no one seems to want to mention the school district not wanted to find enough school nurses. They have it so stretched, I wouldn’t want my kid to be sick or have a medical emergency or allergic reaction for fear of the worst. I wonder why the district seems to feel secretaries should also do the job of dispensing medicines? Do they really feel that is safe? I don’t know of any secretaries with medical training. Do you?

    The district seems to want to try to save funds to cover things like private limos for students than keeping it in the classroom.

  • Sept 4 August 27, 2013 (11:31 pm)

    I support teachers, I don’t support strikes.

  • McLovin August 27, 2013 (11:36 pm)

    Mike is correct. The system of public schools needs to implode. We need either a voucher system, charters, or more private schools. I pay right now to give my daughter a quality education. My wife and i work hard to do this. The sooner people get with it and reject the public school system, the sooner things will change in not only this state, but the whole country. We should pass legislation to help the along. Not contribute to a broken system.

  • misstee August 28, 2013 (1:49 am)

    Whatever the teachers want–my family will support it! We trust our teachers more than the school district.

  • Nick August 28, 2013 (6:32 am)

    Real nice of the teachers union to schedule your vote the day before school starts. I do blame this union for that. You could vote today,tomorrow, to give parents some notice. Both sides are being dumb about this you could continue to negotiate while working under the existing contract. Instead you decide to leave parents in limbo. what about single parents who had planned to change there child care when school starts. They get a half day notice. You can say its about the children all you want but these actions of both sides don’t prove it to me. I’m sure not all teachers agree with this potential strike as well.

  • Lori August 28, 2013 (7:58 am)

    Too much drama here. I have a kindergartener. If school is delayed I will tell him that school is not quite ready to open we will have more summer vacation. No big deal people! Good time to start learning that life is not always black and white. What do you tell your kid when a snow day occurs?

  • an SPS parent August 28, 2013 (8:22 am)

    I trust the teachers and empathize with the teachers, so will support them in whatever they feel they need to do. Even if they get what they’re asking for in this negotiation, they’ll still be underpaid and under-appreciated for the extremely valuable role they play.

    I have no faith whatsoever in the SPS district leadership or the school board. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the district had played a role in the timing of this vote, just to make the teachers look bad and feel unduly pressured to accept a bad deal.

    With the terrible track record of this district toward teachers and families, I believe the teacher’s union is absolutely necessary in Seattle. Without it, there would be even more bullying of teachers by the district staff. Maybe we need a parent’s union to advocate for students and families, and to demand more accountability from the SMS district leadership. Right now they do whatever they want, regardless of the impact on students and families, and there’s no accountability.

    Sorry to be so cynical. I didn’t used to be, but after being a parent in this district for the last 10 years, I’ve learned to be extremely cynical when it comes to the district leadership, the superintendent and the board.
    -an SPS parent

  • Mike August 28, 2013 (8:35 am)

    This is like beating a dead horse. I was six when I first heard about overcrowded classrooms being an issue in WA state schools. You know how long ago that was??? 30 years ago. 30 years they’ve been pounding on the same issue, 30 years have gone by and salary increases have also been an issue. What amazes me is nobody seems to take a different approach. Obviously this union battle with the district and state does not work.

  • Julie August 28, 2013 (8:59 am)

    Not every disagreement is between “bad guys” and “good guys”. In this case, what we have is a bunch of dedicated people from the district side working hard to figure out the best way to spend the finite dollars we give them to accomplish the task we set them, educating our children, vs. a bunch of dedicated people from the teachers trying to make sure they will be able to accomplish the same task with the resulting plan. Neither side is stupid, greedy, lazy, or evil.

  • HPmom August 28, 2013 (9:30 am)

    Thank you, thank you, Julie! So true.

  • JD August 28, 2013 (10:25 am)

    And people wonder why union membership is declining and support for them is declining

  • stephanie August 28, 2013 (12:18 pm)

    What is it with WA schools? Many other states don’t have this issue? WA school system sucks.

  • Unions August 28, 2013 (12:23 pm)

    Unions determine which grocery stores are allowed in my neighborhood and how many kids are in my daughter’s class? I don’t recall joining a union. It’s time to remind unions of their boundaries.

  • Sickofitall August 28, 2013 (1:04 pm)

    Instead of complaining about a situation that I can’t control at the moment, I have done what a parent’s responsibility is. I have told my kids that school may not start at the expected time. I am now willing to pick up the slack. I will be doing school activities on the 4th at home if need be. Ultimately it is my duty as a parent to teach my kids. I am willing to give them the extra time and effort to my kids and give them what they deserve. I know for a fact that reading to my children, practicing basic math, singing songs and talking to them about behavior and other important information will help them for when school does start. I will not complain about the teachers or the schools, I will show my kids that success does start at home. School is an extra bonus and we will be patiently waiting for the negotiating to come to an end.

  • I SUPPORT TEACHERS August 29, 2013 (8:32 pm)

    I support my teachers.

    Children do not benefit from parents blaming teachers.

    If teachers are all rejecting a contract that should say something powerful to parents. I trust my children’s teachers and believe they are as vested as myself in my children’s education. For those parents who don’t believe that teachers are choosing to strike to better support students, I feel sorry for you. If teachers overwhelmingly disagree with the contract. That speaks volumes.

    A longer work day in elementary? Most teachers already work it at school and take that work home in the evenings. I want my children to get an extra 30 minutes of art or P.E. with an increase of time. Elementary students are being cut short not teachers and it’s time to add this to your children’s day as well your teacher’s day or else it doesn’t do much good.

    Common Core will require our teachers to learn a lot of new information. Let’s allow our teachers to focus on it first. Otherwise they won’t be focused on teaching students. Who hasn’t seen the district roll out too much too fast and make a total mess of things.

    Finally ESA may seem like a small part of our population and sound like it doesn’t effect most students so who cares if they have too many students right? WRONG! How many parents have those really difficult students in their child’s class and watch a teacher waste education time trying to figure out how to handle those students. With huge caseloads the Psych who tests that student. The OT/PT who teach those students how to move, or the SLP that teaches them to communicate do not have time to help the teacher quickly and adequately. Every general education student is effected by the special education students in the class. Make sure your teacher has a little more support to help them. Finally our special needs children are our most fragile. How we treat their needs speaks to who we are as a community. Don’t they deserve therapists who can do their job well?

    Strike is a terrible thing. Most teachers hate the thought of it. I believe in students and I believe in teachers but this is an obvious illustration of the disfunction of the powers that negotiate.

    Parents have power. They elect the most powerful players at the table, the School board. What are they doing to help or hinder the process?

  • ILoveWestSeattle August 29, 2013 (10:29 pm)

    As a Seattle Public School teacher working in West Seattle, as product of the public schools in West Seattle, I’m so grateful for all those supporting our struggle with fighting for a fair contract. Thank You!

    For those who say, let the public schools implode, teachers need to be in the classroom not picketing. I challenge you this, Come to my classroom, meet my students and my families before passing judgement about this “failing system”, I make a difference, I inspire, I am passionate about my work and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to educate OUR youth. For the nay-sayers, go find 30 middle schoolers and inspire them, motivate them, promote confidence and prepare them to be productive members of OUR community. Sounds daunting I know and for some reason you have chosen a different path, but I didn’t because this is my Passion, my Purpose and I am DAMN good at it. We are asking for a FAIR contract that is it! When’s the last time you inspired someone to be the best person they could be?

  • Teacher girl August 29, 2013 (11:37 pm)

    I have been teaching for 17 years in spite of the disrespect I receive from some community members and the lack of proper support from my district. What keeps me going year after year is my belief that I am having a strong positive impact on my students. Last year I had 30 kids in my 2nd grade class! A fellow teacher told me that according to some study class size doesn’t matter because teachers just work that much harder to make up for it. Well while that may be true in the short term it is one of the key issues that is contributing to my own looming burn-out. I will not keep doing this job if I can’t give it 100% while I’m there. The kids deserve my best and nothing less. For those of you who clearly don’t “get it”, I beg you to volunteer for 1 day in a classroom before you post anything else. You will be tweeting your followers before the end of your day in the classroom about what f***ing miracle workers we are!

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