Reactions Mixed on Passage of State Budget – Teachers Union Protesting
It largely depends upon which side of the political arena you are on.
While some legislators and leaders are praising the budget agreement that was reached at the 11th hour just before a looming state government partial shutdown, others are saying it doesn't go far enough.
Representative Bruce Chandler (R-Granger) had this quote Tuesday. He is the ranking Republican in the Democrat-controlled State House:
"With all of the forces working toward the opposite, I believe that in the end, that this is a budget that more than others I've seen in the past, really provides something to protect and to serve every part of the state. This truly is a statewide roadmap to the future."
However, predictably, the WEA is not happy that more money was not poured into education. WEA officials are upset the legislature didn't spend hundreds of millions more (of taxpayer money) to fund their controversial I-1351 which would reportedly reduce class sizes. This statement came from WEA spokesman Rich Wood:
"The state budget the Senate approved today effectively cuts teacher pay, increases class sizes for most students and fails to fully fund K-12 public schools as required by the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.“As educators, we are committed to the success of every single one of our students, regardless of their ZIP Code,” said Kim Mead, president of the Washington Education Association. “That’s why we’re so disappointed the Washington Legislature is failing to fulfill its paramount duty to Washington’s 1 million public school students. Legislators may claim they’re fully funding education, but educators know the truth: this budget falls far short of fully funding smaller class sizes and professional, competitive educator pay and benefits."
“Legislators tonight approved a great budget for Washington state. It makes the investments we need to move the state forward and follows spending priorities I set out when the Legislature convened in January. This budget allows us to take a big step toward meeting our obligation to K-12 education, including all-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes in lower grades and a teacher mentoring program. We fully funded collective bargaining agreements to give state workers a raise and funded long overdue cost-of-living adjustments for teachers. We boosted programs that care for people with mental illness and added caseworkers who protect vulnerable children.“There is much here that will help Washingtonians across the state. It makes a bold statement about what we value. I thank lawmakers for working with me to find the middle ground, even when that meant some tough sessions and long nights"