An Open Letter to Seattle Public Schools

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On Tuesday night, my 5 year old daughter Quincy cried when I told her there would be no school on Wednesday September 9th. No first day of Kindergarten, something she was looking forward to all summer. She was worried about learning to read better. When I explained to her one of the reasons she wasn’t able to go to school was her teachers wanted a fair wage, she offered to save her own money for them.

The next morning, my 7 year old son, Sebby, who has Autism and is in a self-contained SM-4 classroom didn’t understand why the bus didn’t come for him even though I had told them there was no school. He thrives on routine.  Not only is the first day of school marked on our calendar, but the bus times too.

Their first day of school has lost it’s thunder, it’s specialness, because of your lack of negotiation skills, your stubbornness to help CHILDREN.

Even my five year old daughter knows what a fair contract is. #SPSstrike #4myteacher

Even my five year old daughter knows what a fair contract is. #SPSstrike #4myteacher

Their second day of school? Ok, what was SUPPOSED to be their second day of school, they walked the picket lines with their teachers.

Today, what was supposed to be their third day of school? More tears. More not understanding why YOU, Seattle Public Schools won’t do what’s right. What my children and 53,000 other students in our district deserve.

My son was asking me HOURLY to go to school. He misses his teachers. His routine. He misses what he is LEGALLY ENTITLED TO.

My children’s teachers need a fair contract.

In case you need to be told again, here are major unresolved issues:
Professional pay: We need to attract and keep caring, qualified educators in Seattle, which is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. We’ve gone six years with no state COLA and five years with no state increase in funding for educator health care.
Fair teacher and staff evaluations: Teachers should be evaluated fairly and consistently, and the focus should be on providing the support all teachers need to be successful.
Reasonable testing: Too much standardized testing is stealing time away from classroom learning
ESA workload relief: Educational staff associates provide students with crucial services and support, but their current workloads mean many students aren’t getting the help they need.
Office professional workload relief: Office professionals do crucial work and play many roles – and they should be compensated for the extra work they do.
Student equity around discipline and the opportunity gap: We need to focus on equity issues at every school in Seattle, not just some.
The administration’s proposal to make teachers work a longer day for 63 cents: It is unrealistic to expect teachers to work more hours without pay them fairly, and the district administration has been unable to explain how their proposal would help students.

credit: http://action.washingtonea.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=11585

Both Sebby and Quincy have IEPs that have minutes for mandated services that YOU, Seattle Public Schools are supposed to provide for them. Legally supposed to provide for them. And right now? They aren’t getting those minutes.

And NOW? You have the ridiculous audacity to want to increase the workload of the people they need most. The therapists, teachers and instructional assistants that are already stretched thin as it is. Not to mention decreasing their funding!

Are you kidding me? You’re basically restricting services that you’re legally required to provide to vulnerable students. Ie My kids. Their classmates.

Shame on you.

Stop using our teachers as pawns and give them a fair contract. Stop dragging things out and not communicating with parents in hopes they will get angry with their children’s teachers.

It’s not working. We want whats best for our schools and our children, not what’s the most convenient for you.

If a five year old knows what you’re doing isn’t fair, I’m not sure why you don’t.

It’s time to do the right thing. It’s time to negotiate a fair contract settlement with Seattle teachers and support professionals.

Our children our counting on you.

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About Kerri Jablonski

Kerri Jablonski AKA The Maven lives in Seattle,WA with her 3 kids (2008, 2010, 2013), husband, cat and backyard chickens. Two of her children have special needs. Kerri enjoys cooking, travel, movies and spending time with her family.

Comments

  1. I read an article on the strike in our paper here in Montana and the wages your teachers are receiving are on par with what the teachers here are paid. That is absurd. The cost of living in Seattle is so much higher than here. To expect people to live on wages that barely feed a family in rural Montana in an expensive, urban city just crazy.

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