Teacher Walkouts Bring Marches Around Tri-Cities
At street corners and along various roads in Richland, Pasco and Kennewick, red-shirted teachers and educators waved signs and marched to protest against what they say is a lack of funding in education by the state legislature. (Photo courtesy of KNDU-TV)
Students in Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick stayed home, as the teachers marched and protested.
The Washington Education Association, WEA, "encouraged" their members to participate in the walkout, and over 80% of teachers in the cities voted to participate.
From the word of a letter issued by the Kennewick School District, it appears they were not in favor of their local union staging the walkout, but it happened.
Teachers are protesting the lack of funding for I-1351, which they say would reduce class sizes. However, the unfunded liability of the measure would cost over $4 billion dollars over the next few years, money the legislature would have to find or raise taxes.
The WEA has a vested interest in I-1351, if fully implemented and funded, the union will take in some $33 million dollars over the life of the initiative - mainly from new annual dues for the newly hired educators.