Rantz: Striking Seattle teachers do not care about your kids, stop pretending otherwise
It’s time to stop pretending that Seattle teachers care about your kids. Striking the day before the first day of class should tell you all you need to know about what motivates them.
Most teachers do hard work. But most teachers in Seattle just authorized a strike mere days after a devastating report about how Democrat COVID school closures hurt your kids, erasing two decades of academic advancement. They know the impact this has on their academics. And they know how this puts parents in a tough spot with childcare they didn’t anticipate they needed. This costs families money they may not have.
What is this being done for? Money. And virtually every argument the Seattle Education Association makes is easily debunked.
There is no argument for a strike
To justify the closures, teachers claim they’re doing this begrudgingly. They don’t want to strike. They claim this as if they’re being forced into staying out of the classroom. They’re doing this for your kids. It’s nonsense.
State Senator Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) laid out the facts in a public Facebook post begging the teachers not to strike. He’s not up for re-election, so Carlyle can be especially blunt without fear of political repercussions from the powerful teachers’ unions in and out of Seattle.
“Enrollment has fallen from 55,303 in 2019 to 50,535 now. Total SPS budget has grown 39% since 2015 to $1,011,204,091. (state funds increased 56% while local levy dollars decreased),” he wrote.
But that’s not all.
“Per pupil, funding has increased to $12,344 from $8,070. The state has reformed educational finance as directed by the state Supreme Court,” Carlyle added.
Teachers can pretend they’re fighting for more resources and support, but it’s already there. Undeservedly so: they ran families out of public schools with an obsessive and dangerous focus on Black Lives Matter propaganda and identity politics. Yet their budgets became even more bloated.
And a good portion of their budget went to high salaries.
Seattle teachers are exceptionally well paid
Teachers always argue that while this isn’t about the money, they want a fair salary. They already get that in Seattle.
In 2019, the teachers negotiated an 11% raise over three years. They now make well above the Seattle average salary.
“Average salary including benefits has grown 31% to $131,155 from $99,911,” Carlyle notes.
If you’re not capable of living in Seattle (or a surrounding area) with that salary and benefits package, then you’re the problem, especially when you factor in most of the teachers likely come from two-income households.
You’re letting teachers use your kids for leverage
Teachers want more money. Fair enough. Everyone wants a higher salary (though not everyone works 180 days out of the year for their current salary).
But the teachers can negotiate a new contract in good faith while doing their jobs. Teachers aren’t involved in the day-to-day negotiations. That’s what union leaders were elected to do. Instead of wasting time on a picket line, they could be helping your kids grow academically and emotionally.
Teachers are choosing to use your kids for leverage. They know that the pain they’re causing your kids will help their cause. And they don’t care.
Contrast the teachers’ union with the Seattle Police Officers Guild. Seattle cops are working without a contract. But they’re still putting on their uniforms and protecting the community because they know the damage that would be done if they didn’t. You think they’re working simply because a strike is illegal? They’re working because they’re committed and know the risks of not showing up to work.
Teachers understand the risk, too. But they’re striking anyway.
Hey parents: be your kids’ cheerleader
Teachers get away with a damaging strike because parents let them. They show blind loyalty to educators who don’t return the favor. Stop letting them hurt your kids for their own personal gain.
Parents: you know the damage this does to your child. You see the pain it causes. You know how their academics suffer.
“We treasure, honor, and respect our teachers. We know you have real issues and challenges. Still, let us not underestimate how much our young people are hurting emotionally. This is not the year for an adult fight,” Carlyle said.
Parents can support teachers and their union end goals while also demanding they go back into the classroom. These positions are not in conflict.
Mothers, fathers, and caregivers must decide if they care more about their kids or teachers. It’s time to pick a lane and stop enabling this damaging behavior.
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