Anybody know any good strike songs?
Published 09-05-2008 on my old wordpress blog.

It appears as if our school board and the administrators do not value education. We’re still walking probably 6 miles a day with signs in our hands (mine now says “average pay attracts average teachers”) and getting support in the form of horn honks from passer by, free snacks and drinks, and a bunch of students walking with us. That’s very nice of you.

However, we could use some folks to step up and help out in more significant ways. I know no one reads this, but if you happen by when you’re searching for “Bellevue teacher strike” here are some things you can do to help get me back to work:

  • Get informed. Don’t bother to read, watch or listen to corporate media. Get your information from the Bellevue Education Association.
  • Write a letter to the Seattle Times, Post-Intelligencer, your local paper, the Stranger, Seattle Weekly, etc. Explain that being 7th highest in average teacher pay in Washington is like finishing in the middle of the pack in the Olympics. When our state is lagging well behind all of the other states around us, it’s pretty clear we’re not Michael Phelps here. Explain that having teachers perform lessons that are mandated down to the activity level or even scripted is not only irrational it is also detrimental to education. Explain that cutting health care funding when health care costs are increasing is ludicrous. Explain that all of their budget woes are due to mismanagement. Explain that last time we trusted that they didn’t have the money (so we took the small offer they gave us), they ended up with a surplus.
  • If you live in Bellevue, write a letter to the school board. Tell them they are up for re-election, you have the memory of an elephant, and you value education.
  • Go to the top. Write to elected officials such as senators and governors. Explain the importance of education and how the most important part of a student’s education is the teacher.
  • On a more blog-like personal note, if a suitable agreement is not arrived at, I’ll be changing districts. The mandated daily lessons have to become optional without threat of reprimand and my salary has to increase to justify the costs of transportation. My school is quite possibly the best school ever, but there comes a time when a person has to try new things. The Bellevue School District may not be for me after all. For example, here’s my pay in various other districts as it compares to Bellevue (4 years experience, Master’s degree, +45 credits).

    District Distance Salary Transportation-Adjusted Salary
    Everett 23.6 miles $57,636 $56599.49
    Lake Washington 17.5 miles $56,244 $55475.40 ($54011.40 with tolls)
    Mercer Island 14.0 miles $54,088 $53473.12 ($52009.12 with tolls)
    Bellevue 14.5 miles $49,898 (current rate) $49261.16 ($47797.16 with tolls)
    Northshore 11.7 miles $49,516 (06 salary rate) $49002.14
    Seattle < 16.6 miles $48,933 or $52,896 (old rate, not sure about credits) $48203.93 or $52166.93
    Shoreline 5 miles $46,225 $46005.4
    Edmonds 9.9 miles $46,012 $45577.19
    places i’d like to move to:
    Portland, OR   $53,656
    Santa Cruz, CA   $48,590
    Berkeley, CA   $57,560
    New York, NY   $61,943
    Minneapolis, MN   $47,086
    this crazy place   $125,000

    There are many more factors than just transportation of course, but it’s getting late. My car costs about $0.12 a mile to run (don’t ask). I work (at school) 183 days a year. (You probably work 260 days if you don’t take vacations and don’t work on weekends). A toll bridge is rumored to add $8 a day to my transportation costs.

    In all likelihood, I’d attempt to get hired in Seattle. Preferably at an alternative school. So, when the tolls go in, do I pay about $400 (or pass up a raise) a year to keep working with the greatest kids in the world, or do I use that $400 to buy a sweet fixed gear road bike to ride to work every day? I guess it’s up to the school board at this point.

    If you like this page, you can buy me a coffee.

    Keywords: bellevue, career, strike

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