Teachers to state: Cough up some bucks or schools are outta here

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OLYMPIA — In an announcement that was shocking though not unexpected, Washington’s school superintendent and the head of the teachers union said it would move the entire public school system to another state unless it received more money from taxpayers.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Worndown and Washington Education Association President Kim Medium said at a press conference Monday that they have for years been warning lawmakers and the public about school funding gaps.

But despite a state Supreme Court order to fix the problem, lawmakers have not done enough.

Describing the demand as a “modest proposal,” Worndown said that unless the Legislature meets the funding requirements of the McCleary decision before the start of next school year, he would load all 295 school districts onto buses and relocate them to Mississippi.

“Many states would love to have a public school system like ours,” Worndown said. “It makes a state big league.” Worndown said he would leave the nine educational service districts, however, because nobody is really sure what they do.

Medium said her members had demands beyond increased funding.

“With all this testing and enhanced evaluations and accountability, they are getting the sense that you all don’t trust them anymore,” Medium said. All reforms adopted since 1993, therefore, must be repealed or else all 53,600 teachers in the state will head south. Oh, and charter schools would have to go too, Medium said.

Worndown separated himself from the other WEA demands, saying the state might need charter schools if all the traditional public schools move. Given that there are 1 million school kids and only eight charter schools, however, Worndown said he expected there to be “one heck of a waiting list.”

Medium said she came up with the brinkmanship strategy while she and many of her members were skipping school to attend the Super Bowl victory parade.

“Threats to leave the state worked for the Seahawks, the Mariners and Boeing,” Medium said. “Why not the public sector?”

Reaction was swift and predictable.

“This wouldn’t have happened if Rodney Tomthumb hadn’t helped the Republicans form the Majority Coalition Caucus,” said House Speaker Crank Fopp. “Everyone knows we’d have done whatever the WEA wanted, especially in an election year. But all the Senate majority could talk about was accountability this, reform that. They are so boring.”

In turn, legislative Republicans blamed Obamacare.

Gov. Jay Ingraham said he would call an immediate special session and submit a package of bills in response to the crisis. In addition to increased funding for schools and bills to reform the reforms, Ingraham said he will ask for action on low carbon fuel standards.

“Yeah, I know. This has nothing to do with climate change,” Ingraham said. “But I’m really in to climate change. I mean, really in to it.”

The business community had mixed reactions. While it favors more state support for education, it is still kind of hoping someone else will have to pay for it. Boeing commercial airplane division head Ray Con said he couldn’t help but feel proud that Worndown and the union had learned so well at the knee of the master.

Expressing concerns were the state’s education reform groups. More money is important, they said. But they lamented the threat to performance-based reforms that enhance accountability and have begun to show positive results.

“We will try to make the point to Ingraham and the lawmakers that they should put the kids first and not the adults,” said League of Education Voters president Vast Cosmos. “We’ll lose of course.”

Stand for Children announced a plan to urge school kids to contribute a percentage of their lunch money to a new political action committee to counteract teachers union contributions.

“Money talks. Bull walks,” said PAC director Karen Duncan, age 8. “Actually, Bull’s mom doesn’t allow it to walk, but it does have to sit up in the front of the bus by the driver.”

Mississippi was not available for comment.

Comments

namvet60 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Is this still America?

I guess the Teachers Union $850,000 dollar campaign contribution has come to fruition. The Governor immediately calls for a Special Session.

That headline should have read "Teachers Union holds the state of Washington hostage".

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kurtfr 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Perhaps a disclaimer at the bottom of the article stating "April Fools" was needed.

3

downhillracer 3 months, 4 weeks ago

That was quite obvious, except to the oblivious.

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namvet60 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks kurtfr - didn't read editorial until this morning - compliments to the writer.

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downhillracer 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Nice job on sharing your hate for Unions, Public Education and the Governor before even bothering to understand the article.

Nothing new here - please, don't feed the trolls.

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namvet60 3 months, 4 weeks ago

In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic ... Usage · Origin and etymology · Trolling, identity ... · Psychological ... WOW - this describes DOWNHILLRACER to T!

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downhillracer 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Textbook case of psychological projection.

Mr "vet", there are other patients in the dayroom that might like to use the computer, please take your turn and limit your time to 15 minutes, thank you.

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writewinger 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Who on earth is Gov. Jay Ingraham?? I am in favor of loading them all onto the bus and moving them to wherever...including Governor watchamacallhim...and maybe even Thomthumb and Crank too!! The whole bunch is out of control..including the WEA!!

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namvet60 3 months, 4 weeks ago

LOL - OK already - actually I wasn't paying attention to the names but the context of the editorial sounds like some of the goofy protests and demands that some of these people are coming up with. Even if you weren't referring to my post it was an eye catcher that totally caught me off guard.

Have a good day . . . . .

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wwguy7 3 months, 4 weeks ago

Haha. I'm glad I saw these posts. My wife is in education, and I was complaining to her about this last night. "How could they do that?" She was baffled.

I saw Randy Worndorn and figured that they just screwed up his name. I only read the first couple of paragraphs, because I was too disgusted. Probably should have realized the date!

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