LATEST BLOGS

WEA union pay raises mean layoffs for younger teachers, librarians and support staff
By LIV FINNE  | 
Apr 19, 2019

Late yesterday afternoon the WEA union posted a defensive reaction to news headlines  reporting, “Teacher union’s greed causing massive deficits, layoffs across the state,” and “Big raises for teachers led to pending cuts.”

The negative news reporting is making union executives worried that their top political goal for the year is in trouble; getting lawmakers to break their no-more-taxes promise and impose high local taxes on top of the recent state property tax increase.

The union defensively claims that their top priority is children:

            “As professional educators, we put our students at the center of everything we do...”

Well...not really.  Their top priority is getting more money out of taxpayers, by any means necessary.  Consider the following:

Last fall the WEA union used strikes to close public schools in 15 districts, shutting out over 164,000 children from access to educational services.

The WEA used the secretive collective bargaining process to secure pay raises for teachers based on seniority, leaving younger teachers behind, and putting many district budgets into deficit.

Now many young teachers, librarians, school nurses and support staff face layoffs, because the money from the state property tax increase went to double-digit raises and other priorities.

WEA executives have cut local levy money for charter public schools, refusing to allow these families, many living in poor communities, to participate in local voter-approved funding.

The WEA wants HB 2140, to overturn the McCleary education funding fix and bring back funding inequities in education funding, which would reward wealthy school districts at the expense of property-poor districts.

The WEA is using considerable behind-the-scenes influence to kill the Palumbo Amendment in SB 5313. Senator Palumbo, a Democrat, simply wants funding fairness for charter schools, so these families can participate on an equal basis in the levy support voters have approved for local schools.

In the meantime, the WEA union’s private yearly budget, taken from teacher paychecks, has ballooned by 38%, up from $29 million a few years ago to over $40 million today.

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Intentions lay bare on capital gains income tax bill
By JASON MERCIER  | 
Apr 19, 2019

The real goal behind the capital gains income tax proposal (HB 2156) was revealed today with the rejection of an amendment by the House Finance Committee. On a party-line vote, the committee rejected an amendment proposed by Rep. Vick to prohibit the Attorney General from asking the court to allow a gradated income tax without a constitutional amendment. HB 2156 was added to Finance’s agenda late yesterday.

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Spokane Public Schools are spending $15,000 per student, yet the union wants higher property taxes
By LIV FINNE  | 
Apr 19, 2019

As a result, funding in Spokane Public Schools jumped from $10,900 per student a few years ago to $15,000 per student in 2018-19, more than most private schools. Total spending went from $316 million in 2012 to $465 million today, an increase of 47 percent.

Spokane’s taxpayers just saw an average 10 percent increase in their property taxes to provide this added money.    

Yet now Vicky Jensen, WEA union leader, says the district should get even more money.

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