• McCleary, school funding, and teacher salaries

    You will hear many different points of view regarding the McCleary decision and its impact on teacher salaries. In this easy-to-read format, we provide some common questions with answers found from a variety of sources.

    Why are some school districts able to offer higher raises for teachers?

    Washington State Schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal's interview with MYNorthwest: "And districts were treated very differently," Reykdal said. "There are some contracts that are coming out and really significant increases for teachers and the district have resources. There are other districts who just simply didn't get that king of resource and it's going to get a little bit tense over the next couple of weeks as that becomes a reality." Scott, Hanna (2018, August 15). Superintendent asks for patience amid potential teacher strikes, and districts figure out funding. Retrieved from MYNorthwest article 8/15/18.

    Didn't the McCleary decision provide millions of dollars specifically for teacher salary increases?

    Seattle Times Editorial Board: "Because those local school district property-tax levies are set to go down starting January 2019, not all of the added state money coming to districts is actually available for teacher salary increases - at least, not beyond next year . . . Teachers can expect raises this year - just not double-digit ones." Seattle Times Editorial Board (2018, August 17). Local school districts should stick to a basic principle as they renegotiate contracts with their teachers unions: Don't bargain away money you don't have. Retrieved from The Seattle Times Editorial Board article 8/17/18.

    Why does the Tumwater School Board and leadership talk about financial responsibility and sustainability so much?

    Washington State Schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal's interview with MYNorthwest:  "I actually am more worried that districts feel like they have some fund balance right now to play with and that absolutely will not be the case a year from now when they are fully into the new [McCleary] model," [Reykdal] added. "So the bargaining environment is harder right now the actual fiscal reality, I think, hits a lot more in years three and four." Scott, Hanna (2018, August 15). Superintendent asks for patience amid potential teacher strikes, and districts figure out funding. Retrieved from MYNorthwest article 8/15/18. 

    What does the leadership of Tumwater School District say?

    We appreciate the communication we have been receiving, both verbal and written, and appreciate your support for our students. Over the last three years, we have given our teachers an average of 21.5% increase, using local levy funds the state is now taking away. Tumwater School District was given a poor deal in the new education funding model in several categories - no extra regionalization funding (like North Thurston will receive), no staff experience funds (like Olympia was given, although our staff are nearly identical in their experience factor), and loss of over 50% of our community-approved local levy dollars over the  next two years.

    McCleary did pump a lot of money into education across the state - but not in a fair way. The reality we have been given through the new funding model is both complex and unfair to alot of districts ... Tumwater included. As we bargain, we not only have our teachers to consider, but all of our staff. We will continue to bargain in good faith knowing that maintaining fair and competitive compensation will also mean significant spending reductions in our district to maintain fiscal stability.

    The narrative that we don't value our teachers is simply untrue ... Tumwater is a highly sought-after district because of the incredible staff that educate our students every day. We value and appreciate our teachers, as well as all of our staff.