You’ve bought the school supplies. Your kid’s backpack is all packed up and ready for the first day of school. This is a common ritual around the country, especially right now.
Only, parents in Seattle have to face a harsh reality. Their kids are missing the first day of school because the teachers have decided to go on strike.
Kids are being punished so that Seattle teachers can get political.
And of course, it’s Seattle. The liberal city has faced countless issues in the past two years, mostly as a result of weak and progressive leadership. They’ve cleared up their barricades for the autonomous government just in time for the teachers to strike.
A Seattle teachers union took a vote – and it was an overwhelming decision to strike instead of starting school this past Wednesday.
50,000 students are being deprived of a timely start to the school year. Instead, teachers decided that they were going to strike – and it’s all about pay and benefits.
Keep in mind that the teachers had all summer to work out the details. They could have picketed around the city for months. They waited until the first day of school because they are selfish. They don’t care if they’re hurting the education of tens of thousands.
The issue is not just an increased salary. It’s also about the district maintaining proper staffing ratios for multilingual and special education students.
Now, salaries are important. Teachers deserve to earn a respectable wage. And staffing ratios are critical for the learning environment.
But a strike? This is unacceptable.
The union feels as though they had no choice because of the failed negotiations with the school district. The problem is that only the school district seems to be committed to working to help both students and teachers. The union is focused solely on the teachers – and that created the mess that Seattle has now found itself in.
The union argues that they are advocating for the students. If that is the case, however, why deny students access to an education while the feud goes on?
Seattle has been faced with COVID policies and closures. And they’re dealing with lower academic success. In February, Seattle Public Schools announced that the achievement testing scores were less than satisfactory, reporting “The SBA data shows that 54% of current SPS 4th graders and 51% of current 8th graders met or exceeded standards for math outcomes. Fewer than 50% of students in 11th grade met or exceeded standards. In English language arts/reading results, more than 50% of students in grades 4, 8, and 11 met or exceeded standards.”
It’s hard for a school district to pay more to teachers when the expectation of testing scores isn’t there.
Is it because of COVID policies or because of poor teaching tactics? Should teachers receive raises based on performance? Because if that’s the case, it’s no wonder why the school district is hesitant to meet the demands of the union.
At the time that this is being published, the teachers are still on strike. As for whether they will get into the classroom soon so that students don’t miss more than a day or two, well…we’ll keep you updated.
Let’s hope that the teachers get their raises while the school district sees an improvement in test scores. Then, we can guarantee that the kids will win no matter what – and isn’t that what’s really important?