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Next in Rolling Teachers Walkout: Spokane

Paige Browning
Spokane Public Radio

Wednesday, Spokane teachers voted to have a one-day walkout, protesting the legislature’s failure to fully fund public schools. Parents have a range of opinions on the one day school closure, scheduled for Wednesday, May 27 in Spokane.

Spokane Education Association president Jenny Rose says schools will be closed, and teachers will spend the day having a rally and doing community service.

Jenny Rose: “We are joining 50 other associations across the state that have voted to walkout, this started in April... to draw attention to what is going on in Olympia.”

In the rolling walkout, districts walk-out on different days. The state supreme court has mandated that the legislature fully fund K-12 public education, which has not yet been settled in the budget.

Parents waiting to pick up kids outside Spokane’s Holmes Elementary had differing perspectives. Casey Monteleon has a child on the autism spectrum.

Casey Monteleon: “And the break in his routine is, I would like to use the word catastrophic, but he handles it a lot better as he gets older… it’s still something that we didn’t expect to have to deal with.”

She says she wishes there was a better way schools and lawmakers could come to terms. Parent Shay McConnell says she’s read about the issue.

Shay McConnell: “I believe that smaller class sizes would benefit the children, it would help the teachers. Yeah, I agree with them and I wish I could walk with them.”

At the SEA, Jenny Rose says the last walkout she remembers was a 1979 month-long strike. This will be one day, and the school district will make up for it by cancelling three late start days, and adding a half-day as the last day of school. Lawmakers have less than a week to negotiate the budget in this special session.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio

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