Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bellevue Teachers Strike

While my kids are busy packing for their first day of class here in Mercer Island public schools, their friends in nearby Bellevue get to take the day off now that the union representing Bellevue teachers voted to go on strike.  I'm not from Bellevue, so I can't claim to understand the issues  (something about a 6% raise and flexibility in easier curriculum), but I'm pretty sure that the teachers in India and China are going to work today.  If this were Mercer Island public schools I would be pretty irate, so I'm a little curious why the Seattle Times this morning only had quotes from parents and students who support the strike. 

But who cares what I think?  This is a perfect opportunity to find out more about the candidates for the Washington state 41st legislative district.  Both Marcie Maxwell (who is endorsed by the teachers unions)   and Steve Litzow are running on strong pro-education platforms.  What do they think about the strike, and what if anything would they do as legislators? 

A typical politician will just say, ambiguously:  "I urge both sides to show restraint and focus on our children".  I want a legislator who says something more meaningful.  As of this morning, neither candidate has anything on their web site discussing Bellevue schools explicitly, so I sent email to both campaigns to see what, if anything they have to say.

What do you think?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Marcie is a School Board member and will presumably side with the Bellevue School Board members. Steve is a city council member so his opinion on school matters will be interestting. You know these folks...can you call them and ask and report results? It would be very helpful. Also true of the state senate candidates...and what the heck...our governor! And attorney general.

Anonymous said...

"Bellevue EA members made an impressive showing on our first day of pickets. Parents, union leaders, students, community members, even a congressional candidate joined us, offered food and pledged support." (emphasis added)

This comes from www.bellevueea.org, the teacher union website.

It would be interesting to see who that congressional candidate was....as he/she is clearly taking sides in this strike.

Jack said...

Also I see that Marcie is not endorsed by the Bellevue union or their members. Maybe they just don't do endorsements or maybe they haven't gotten around to it?

Anonymous said...

According to the BEA's strike newsletter (No. 1, Sept. 3, 2008), the congressional candidate was Darcy Burner.

Richard Sprague said...

Darcy Burner's appearance there is especially interesting since her opponent endorsed by the state teachers union

Anonymous said...

Darcy endorsed by American Federation of Teachers Washington (see http://www.darcyburner.com/pages/endorsements/)

Anonymous said...

And Marcie Maxwell is endorsed by the WEA Pac and by the Am. Fed of Teachers Washginton according to http://www.marciemaxwell.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=29

Anonymous said...

I've been reading that democrats are getting tired of teacher unions. The unions even got booed in Denver. Could it be the era of powerful teacher unions is beginning to end?

Seems like most comments on local Bellevue blogs are pro-district in this dispute.