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Tacoma Teachers Strike Might Last Rest of Month

September 16, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

TACOMA, Wash.—The 2,200 teachers on strike in Tacoma, Washington believe their walkout might last the rest of the month. “Teachers have the patience of saints,” first-year high-school teacher Megan Holyoke told USA Today on the picket line Sept. 10. “I think the district doesn’t understand that. We will wait this out.” The Tacoma strike was the largest of more than 10 in the state this fall, and one of the three still going. They were prompted by teachers’ demands that school districts use a court-ordered increase in state funding to raise their pay. The Tacoma district says it needs the $50 million it’s receiving to cover other expenses. “We’re just not in the position to fund it,” a district spokesperson said. Tacoma’s district superintendent gets $291,000 a year, teachers respond, while many teachers leave after a few years to work in nearby districts that pay $10,000 a year more.  “The school district is trying to make it look like they’re poor, but there are dozens of administrators working downtown who never see, smell or hear a child, who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said middle-school teacher Anne Hawkins—who resigned Sept. 10 after 19 years there. Read more

September 16, 2018

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