Open Letter To Lawmakers

Open Letter To Lawmakers

Open Letter To Lawmakers

Restore the sideboards on local collective bargaining to keep the unions from cannibalizing districts’ levy-funded services, maintenance, materials, supplies, and operating costs.

Return to the restricted scope of school employee union bargaining. Only allow wage enhancements for activities requiring time outside the program of Basic Education.

Honor the recommendations of the Basic Education Finance Task Force, Superintendent Chris Reykdal, the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Washington State School Directors Association and the Washington Association of School Business Officers.

“Restrict supplemental pay beyond the standard contract for teachers and other education professionals to activities that require additional time.  (Currently, teachers often have supplemental contracts based on “time, responsibilities, and incentives.”)     

Supplemental contracts must specify the minimum amount of additional time required, its purpose, and the amount of the contract.  This information must be reported in a common format to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to improve transparency and analysis.”  

– Basic Education Finance Task Force Final Report, January 14, 2009

“You’re still going to have to bargain locally, I believe, in some ways. When the legislature defines this, I believe they’re going to have to put some restrictions on what’s left of your local levies so that we don’t end up with McCleary Two.”

– Chris Reykdal, September 28, 2016

“As part of the transition to full state funding of K–12 compensation, WASA/WSSDA/WASBO urge the Legislature to take action in 2016 to limit local compensation to work time outside of the program of basic education, protecting districts at the bargaining table and moving towards a more equitable compensation system.”

– Washington Association of School Administrators, February 1, 2016

“without explicit constraints on local bargaining to time outside of the program of basic education and/or limiting local levies to non-basic education expenses, districts will continue to be in very difficult positions with their local bargaining units.”

– Washington State School Directors Association, March 7, 2017

“WASBO leaders encouraged them [lawmakers] to consider limiting future local contract enhancements above the State Salary Schedule to time-based contracts for work that is done outside the program of Basic Education.”

– Washington Association of School Business Officials, January 29, 2016

“Absent, however, [from Governor Inslee’s school employee compensation plan] was any discussion of changes or limitations to current TRII (Time, Responsibilities, Incentives & Innovation) contracts or any “sideboards” or limitations to collective bargaining. Gov. Inslee falls in line with his House and Senate Democratic colleagues and will not engage in a conversation about altering educator collective bargaining.”

– Washington Association of School Administrators, January 13, 2017

“We are unanimous in our stance that collective bargaining must be reformed. At a minimum, “guardrails” or “bumpers” must be in place that prohibit bargaining of local levy resources for basic education duties and responsibilities. Without reform of collective bargaining – particularly around use of local levy resources – we are strongly concerned that a significant new investment of State resources will not produce the outcomes and program improvements the Legislature intends. We are further concerned that absent a reform of collective bargaining as it currently exists, a regression to the current unconstitutional funding system at some point in the future is a certainty.”

“We strongly support clear and specific limitations on the use of local levy resources for compensated time outside of the 180-day student year or for duties and responsibilities that are clearly distinguishable from those routinely expected of any teacher.”

32 School Superintendents March 23, 2017

– 20 more school superintendents

– 43 more school superintendents

Also, please keep in mind that the recommendations of the stakeholders’ “Compensation Technical Working Group” did not even exist at the time of the McCleary decision, and its recommendations are not part of the court mandate.


The Freedom Foundation has documented the hundreds of millions of dollars used for pay raises without an additional service provided to students. “Grading the Teachers Union Contracts” displays these raises and other ways compensation is enhanced in spite of a law prohibiting such salary negotiations.

Senior Policy Analyst
Jami Lund is the Freedom Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst. From 2004 to 2011, he developed legislative policy as a research analyst for the Washington House Republican Caucus. Prior to that he worked for the Freedom Foundation as the Project Manager for the Teachers Paycheck Protection project, shepherding the development of the Foundation’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court case to protect teacher rights. Jami is an accomplished speaker and researcher, one of Washington state’s top scholars on education policy and finance.