The judge in the case asked for names of teachers who failed to comply with his order. This is to keep the innocent separate from the guilty. On Monday, the district will likely comply with that request.
We don’t know what the judge has in mind yet for penalties, probably a fine. I doubt, at this point, we’ll see anyone thrown in jail, although it remains a possibility.
The negotiations appear to be hung up on three points: teacher salary, classroom size, and seniority.
The district is running with less money per student than it had last year. This is because of the democratic legislature, which has been incapable of balancing the budget without cutting school funding, or in relaxing regulations so that schools can shift their budgets into teacher salaries.
Demanding one fewer student per class means that the district will need more teachers per student. This means they have to spend more money on teachers and the costs of supporting a teacher. If you want to reduce classroom size, you either have to bring in new money or reduce the cost per teacher. The Tacoma Education Association doesn’t seem to understand this.
The district would like to send the best teachers where they are needed the most. The Tacoma Education Association wants teachers to choose where they should go based on how long they’ve been around. I don’t know why the TEA cares. I’ve never understood why unions care how people are assigned. I can only think it is to not allow the best teachers to get the best assignments. Or maybe it’s so they can carefully distribute the union agitators among the schools. Any insight into why they are sticking to this point is helpful. It’s obvious that they don’t have the interest of the kids at heart on this point.
The state is facing another massive budget shortfall. The Democratic Party is incapable of balancing a budget and keeping it balanced. It is very likely that the democrats will, once again, take money out of education to support their pet re-election projects. They believe that the voters will approve tax hikes if they are cutting funding to the most important services, rather than streamlining government.
It’s clear now that the union is NOT negotiating in good faith with the district. They intend to strike, and keep striking, until they believe the taxpayers will approve tax hikes in our state. They chose Tacoma because Tacoma is a large district with a lot of visibility. The fact that they came to a table regressing to a previous proposal is a sign of this.
I hope the district does what is right and starts holding hiring interviews. They should contact the neighboring school districts and ask for as many substitute teachers as possible at the same time. Those teachers who fail to show up to work need to be fired for insubordination.
Perhaps we’ll be a union-less district when this is all said and done. I hope and pray it is so. There is no other condition whereby I’ll send my kids to the Tacoma School District again.