Starting in June and continuing through today, school boards across the state have been voting up or down on new teacher contract agreements.
This evening the Centralia School District School Board will vote on whether to approve a new teacher contract.
Centralia was one of many districts that saw schools closed at the start of the school year due to teacher strikes. These strikes were the result of disagreements over the size of salary increases the union believed teachers were owed from the so-called McLeary money from the state.
Overall, an estimated 125,000 students in Washington did not start school on time due to strikes across the state. The last strike ended on September 17. Other districts managed to negotiate agreements for teacher pay raises with union leaders without closing down schools.
Explaining his thinking – In an email to the community (reprinted below) and on his Facebook page, Centralia School Board Director Jami Lund shared his views on the proposed agreement, including specific reasons why he is considering a “No” vote. He also provides an email contact for community members to share their thoughts on the contract prior to the vote.
We want to hear from you
- Did your school board member(s) reach out to you directly via email or similar contact to share their views on your district’s proposed contract, prior to their voting “Yes” or “No?
- How were you provided a meaningful opportunity as a community member to review the proposal, ask questions (with enough time to get a response), give comment or otherwise share your thoughts prior to your school board vote? Were you expected to find the contract proposal (or a summary) on the district website on your own? Was it an item on a meeting agenda? Something else?
Because elected school boards represent “a continuing commitment to local citizen control and decision-making in education” we want to learn more about how school boards communicated with the community about their new teacher contracts prior to voting for or against them (strikes or not). Director Lund’s email is a good example of how one school board member explained his thinking. We’d love to see and share more like it, no matter that school board director’s views.
Let us know in the comments or email us at [email protected]