Because every teacher (… and counselor, and nurse, and support professional) cares deeply about the success of every child, the end of the year makes it nearly impossible for us to take large visible actions. While many in the legislature are busy collecting per diems for overtime sessions while not accomplishing much of anything, educators are busy trying to close out the school year. At this time of year, teachers and counselors are working frantically to help kids graduate. At this time of year, nurses are trying to make sure that our neediest students will have access to medical necessities over the summer when they are not on our campuses. At this time of the year, everyone working in schools are putting in every ounce of energy they have to give as much education to our children as possible before they walk out the doors for two months. Lawmakers, please don’t mistake our lack of daily visibility for inaction. It is important that Senator Ann Rivers and Representative Paul Harris, who are part of the McCleary negotiations, know that the members of the EEA are watching and will take action if necessary. We are just too damn busy to be out in the streets right now, but some actions that have already taken place (some more visible than others) are:
- Members hosted a town hall to speak with legislators about the needs for the proper funding of our schools
- Members have traveled 3 times to Olympia to be part of the Occupy Olympia action put on by the Seattle and South Kitsap Education Associations.
- EEA members sent 100s of flyers to some legislators asking them to be Champions for Kids.
- EEA members distributed post cards to friends and family asking legislators to do the right thing by our students.
- EEA members waived signs at intersections calling on the legislature to fully fund education
- EEA members picketed outside of Senator Wilson’s business to bring visibility to the State Senate’s damaging and unconstitutional budget proposal
- EEA members, serving as the local WEA Political Action committee, met with candidates for Evergreen School Board, recommending the endorsement of Megan Miles (Pos. 1) and Janelle Tuominen (Pos. 5), who both agree to actually talk with the EEA and not take the EEA to court when they can’t get their way at the bargaining table.
- On May 15th, the EEA Representative Council called for a General Membership meeting to take place on August 24th, where a strike vote will take place if:
- The EEA and the Evergreen School District cannot come to an agreement on reopeners to our contract that are caused by the State Legislature as a result of legislation passed this summer, OR
- If the Legislature’s action (or inaction) results in the Washington State Supreme Court ruling that the State is still in violation of the Washington State Constitution.
We may not be out in the streets, numbering in the thousands, but we are watching and we will act. However, right now we are busy trying to close out the year for the people we care about the most, the students of Evergreen Public Schools. We ask that those who care about public education contact their legislators and demand that the house budget be passed for the sake of the students of Washington State. For contact information for the local delegations to the State Legislature, Click Here: http://www.eeaoffice.com/file_viewer.php?id=3425