The Anacortes teachers union will join other teachers in a rolling walk-out this Friday, according to Carl Dellutri, the president of the union.
Dellutri said teachers will take Friday afternoon off, time that had been scheduled for teacher development. Students are scheduled for a half-day on Friday, so no classroom time will be lost to the walkout. In fact, Dellutri said, School Superintendent Mark Wenzel has offered to find alternate time for professional development.
Dellutri said that Monday evening the membership of the Anacortes Education Association voted to approve a walk-out. “We had over 50% of the membership attend, and they approved the walk-out with 95%. The elementary staff actually approved at 100%.“ he said.
Teachers from Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley are also holding demonstrations this week, joining teachers in other school districts.
Dellutri stressed that the walkout is prompted by teachers frustration with the state legislature. He said it in no way reflects how the Anacortes community supports the school district.
Dellutri told Anacortes now that teachers recognize that our community has done a lot for our local education program. He said, “They have passed our M&O Levy, our Tech Levy and the Bond to rebuild our High School. It’s time for the teachers to do something in return; we need to stand-up to the State Legislature and make them meet their constitutional obligation to fully implement and fund basic education as ordered by the Supreme Court.”
He said the legislature has, a history of adding new funding for new teacher responsibilities, then dropping funding without dropping the programs.
He said class sizes have barely been reduced over the years. He said he looked at the union’s 1975 contract and found that class sizes have only been reduced by one student per class over the past 40 years.
Teachers will meet around 11am Friday at the corner of 12th St. and Commercial Ave and demonstrate until as late as 3:30 pm.