Our local Federal Way Education Association president is a true blue Democrat stormtrooper, so she cannot possibly be happy that the state gave Federal Way 6 percent less than that metropolitan dynamo Auburn.
The Washington Education Association (WEA) has press releases calling for 15 percent and 35 percent faculty salary increases. Perhaps the WEA is talking about ultra-rich school districts that use levy money for “bells and whistles.” Federal Way Public Schools requires an extra property tax levy just to cover base salary, benefits and cost of living allowances (COLA) due to the way the state continues to short us on their “paramount duty” to fully fund public education.
Despite the new budget intended to meet the Supreme Court funding mandate, we pay our property taxes, then still have to tax ourselves again with a levy (albeit smaller now) that covers the hole in our budget left by the state.
Teachers need more pay; on this there is no doubt, but there is a reason you don’t see empty crates of turnips outside the blood bank. Until the state — where the WEA lobbies 150 votes in Olympia instead of the 4 million registered voters that sent them there — starts providing a fair allocation to every school district, Federal Way cannot responsibly compete on pay.
Trying to change the vote of anti-public education legislators is the wrong strategy. The WEA needs to lobby voters to kick those anti-education legislators out of Olympia.