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