Freedom Foundation
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SPI Sues to End WEA’s Damage to Funding

While it is true that the multimillion teachers union advocates for tax increases and spending increases on education, their marketing works to conceal the other element of their agenda—swiping money intended for student services as pay raises and bonuses.

July 19 Superintendent Randy Dorn announced his lawsuit against some school districts which have been complicit, lazy or bullied into letting the union contract negotiations take money away from student needs.

Freedom Foundation has a long been a whistleblower about how union power brokers are siphoning off funds from other educational purposes. Their use of strikes, bullying or outright buying of school board seats is one of the primary reasons that increases in funding have not resulted in commensurate increases in services, materials or facilities.

Last week, Freedom Foundation was again warning the Education Funding Task Force of the need to end the union practice of grabbing resources at local bargaining tables across the state.

Click above to watch Jami’s testimony.

Citizens and school boards need to get the legislature to do the right thing—return to the ban on local negotiations regarding wages and salary and leave this part of basic education to the state. This was the solution adopted in 1981 when the legislature was correcting the underfunding of education before.

This was also the recommendation of the state’s own Basic Education Finance Task Force which has been conveniently ignored while other elements have been treated like holy writ by the Supreme Court education funding orders of McCleary.

Of course, Freedom Foundation has pointed out the problem of union siphoning funds from student services repeatedly.

This lawsuit is going to force the state and school boards to look at the aggressive approaches of union negotiators, and to put a stop to them. School employee compensation needs to be addressed in a thoughtful manner rather than by rewarding the bullying happening in some districts.

Other resources

Senate Nearly Fixes Education Funding Loophole, February 2016

Superintendent Dorn Acknowledges Union Abuse of Public Interest, November 2015

Teacher Strikes, Self-Interest and the Paramount Duty, September 2015

Teachers Union Bargaining to Steal Materials from Children, August 2015

Legislature Needs to Fix Education Funding Leak, April 2015

Levy for Pay Increases, January 2014

Must School Levies Pad Wages? May 2013

Court Strikes Down Adult-Focused Education Funding System, January 2012

Skirting the Law on Teacher Pay Raises, December 2003

Adult vs. Kids: The Surprising Consequences of Local Teachers’ Contracts, February 2003

The Freedom Foundation has even undertaken to document 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.

From this study of union contracts in 2013-14, these are the large districts with the worst inclination to use levy funds as salary enhancement:

District

Salary Enhancement

How much it costs

Percent of levy used

Everett

37%

$19,097,031

44%

Mukilteo

36%

$14,855,386

43%

Snohomish

32%

$7,592,835

34%

Monroe

32%

$5,093,682

31%

Lake Stevens

29%

$5,749,485

37%

Marysville

29%

$8,949,439

35%

Arlington

27%

$3,771,897

32%

Seattle

25%

$36,199,944

25%

Tacoma

21%

$17,067,500

19%

Bellingham

21%

$6,212,762

23%

Bellevue

20%

$9,834,120

22%

Auburn

19%

$7,973,338

23%

Northshore

19%

$10,512,789

23%

Kent

18%

$12,712,353

20%

Shoreline

17%

$4,033,584

18%

Edmonds

17%

$9,225,576

20%

Evergreen (Clark)

15%

$11,289,197

20%

Highline

15%

$7,326,318

17%

Issaquah

14%

$6,465,772

18%

Sumner

14%

$3,130,247

16%

Bethel

14%

$6,440,488

17%

Lake Washington

14%

$9,337,333

18%

Renton

13%

$5,047,009

15%

Federal Way

12%

$7,545,440

15%

Clover Park

12%

$4,221,810

16%

Franklin Pierce

12%

$2,359,055

13%

North Thurston

11%

$4,491,862

14%

Tahoma

11%

$2,137,016

12%

Peninsula

11%

$2,545,553

12%

Puyallup

10%

$5,604,694

11%

Moses Lake

9%

$1,913,203

11%

Longview

9%

$1,646,706

10%

South Kitsap

9%

$2,180,446

10%

Yakima

9%

$3,724,339

14%

Central Kitsap

8%

$2,640,379

10%

Pasco

8%

$3,294,823

10%

Vancouver

7%

$4,501,018

9%

Mead

7%

$1,873,348

8%

Richland

7%

$2,038,045

9%

Kennewick

7%

$3,068,530

10%

Battle Ground

7%

$2,450,688

9%

Spokane

6%

$5,709,332

8%

Tumwater

6%

$1,111,561

8%

Central Valley

6%

$2,316,845

8%

Wenatchee

6%

$1,284,381

9%