Teachers at more schools stage one-day walkout, forcing schools to cancel class

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(Photo: KCPQ-TV)

MOUNT VERNON, Wash.  — Teachers at a few more schools walked out of class Friday to protest the Legislature’s failure to fully fund education in the state.

Kayalyn Stewart, a seventh-grade Anacortes teacher, says she hasn’t had a raise in years and bills are piling up.

“I still have $40,000 in student loans just from my teaching certificate and master’s degree and I can’t afford to pay off my own student loans and put good food on the table for my own three kids,” Stewart said.

Fed up with lawmakers, hundreds of teachers in Whatcom and Skagit counties forced school cancellations after walking out, demanding full education funding by the Legislature.

The Washington Supreme Court ordered legislators to supply billions of dollars for public schools. Voters also approved Initiative 1351 to reduce class sizes, but some legislators have said they want to ask voters to roll back the planned reductions in class sizes.

Lori Thoreson said, "The fewer students I have, obviously the more time I can give each one of those children because they all have such varied needs."

These teachers joined a growing list of districts demanding full education funding. Several schools in other districts staged a one-day walkout Wednesday, and others planned to carry out their one-day protest next week.

On Saturday, thousands are expected to rally on the steps of the state Capitol building. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to speak at that event.

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4 comments

  • Your Choices Are Your Problem

    You can’t feed the 3 kids you have on your salary? Awww, that’s our problem how exactly? Wouldn’t that be your life choice? We life in a capitalist society. We already pay enough in to help support your life choices, don’t complain that you can’t buy iPhones and gourmet foods after choosing to birth 3 more burdens on the rest of us. Since, after all, that’s what they are in your eyes: OUR burdens to bear.

    Class size? Pretty sure that 23-30 students was the norm 20 years ago before I graduated as well. I turned out fine. Too burdened by having to teach the same number of students YOUR teachers had? Perhaps you should have chosen a different career path, since this is what YOU signed up for. It was YOUR choice to be a teacher, under the conditions that are already occurring. Now you want to hold your hand out just like the $15/hour minimum wage burger flippers. Don’t get me wrong, I know your job is difficult. However, to cry foul about conditions that already existed prior to your decision is silly.

    Our legislature shouldn’t get raises, but teachers also shouldn’t expect wages from those who don’t burden the system with more parasites. Sure, we should pay teachers more, but that increased wage should be paid by people just like you, that have 3 kids in the system needing additional funding. Why tax roads for schools, or properties? How does owning a property relate to a child going to school? It doesn’t. You have a kid, you should pay additional taxes to fund the programs the government puts in place to help raise that kid.

    • Ralph

      Sorry to see you ignorant comments, did you really go to school? Really? You sound like a terrible sour puss of a person.

  • Dean

    This strike benefits the teachers getting their raises. This is for themselves and this is hurting our kids. The budget already has your money funded. Go back.

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