There was an enormous crowd of hundreds of supporters in Marina Park today all wearing red and carrying signs that said, "On Strike Against Legislature, Stop Blaming Teachers, Start Funding Schools." Today was an organized one-day walk out for the Lake Washington Education Association, which is the organization of professionals and union that represents teachers in our district. They are the 11th teachers union to have a one-day strike over funding for smaller K-12 class sizes and professional pay and benefits for educators. And there will be more protests around the state as they urge the Legislature to adhere to their constitutional mandate to fully fund public education.
The message was announced to all of the families in Lake WA School District on 4/23 that there would be no school today, Weds 5/6. This is when I told my kids it's a "Go to Work with Daddy Day!!!" Genius, I know. Here is a copy of Superintendent Traci Pierce's note that we all received:
Dear Lake Washington School District Families:
The Lake Washington Education Association (LWEA) voted to join in a statewide action against the legislature to protest the lack of education funding in our state. The LWEA is the organization of professionals and union that represents teachers in our district. This protest involves a one-day walkout. Eleven districts to the north of us have or will also experience one-day walkouts. At least 15 other local teachers associations in the Puget Sound area have authorized votes by their full membership this week.
LWEA has selected May 6 as the day for their one-day walkout. Therefore, there will be no school for students on May 6 as teachers will not be at work on that day. LWEA worked closely with the district to schedule this action on a day that would minimize disruption for students and parents to the greatest extent possible. The district has been working to determine how to handle activities and events scheduled for May 6 that would be difficult to reschedule. For example, Advanced Placement tests scheduled for that day will be held as planned. Previously scheduled interscholastic competitions will also take place.
While there is now no school for students on May 6, the school day will have to be made up, just as we would make up a snow day or other unforeseen calendar change. The make-up day will be added to the end of the school year. This means June 16 will become a full school day and our last day of school will now be a half day on June 17. There will be no change in graduation dates or the last day of school for seniors. A revised school year calendar will be shared with families.
It is important for families to know that this LWEA action is not directed at the Lake Washington School District or the Lake Washington communities. We share the LWEA’s concern that the legislature should fully fund basic education. We also understand and appreciate the disruption that this change in schedule may cause for families.
Dr. Traci Pierce