Teachers wearing red shirts gathered on overpasses, street corners and Harborview Drive to call the state Legislature to action as part of a half-day walkout.
The Peninsula Education Association participated in the statewide rolling walkouts on Tuesday afternoon. The teachers wore “Red for Ed” and held signs asking lawmakers to care about students.
The district’s high school teachers gathered on the corner of Olympic Drive and Point Fosdick as well as on the state Route 16 overpass.
Along the waterfront, a group of teachers and supporters walked down Harborview Drive with a banner that read, “All students K to 12 deserve smaller class sizes.”
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The walkouts have caught the ear of state lawmakers including a local representative.
Teachers on Point Fosdick were visited by Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, and were encouraged by his support. The walkout by the teachers is directed at the Washington state Legislature, asking lawmakers to take action on education funding.
The PEA voted on the walkout at the end of April. The temporary strike was limited to a half day, with teachers leaving school early.
The frustration comes from a lack of funding for a recently passed smaller class size initiative and the legislature’s feet-dragging on the McCleary case.
“(The walkout was) member-generated and reflect(s) the disappointment and frustration we have with the inability of the Washington state Legislature to honor its paramount duty and fully fund education K to higher ed,” PEA president Jim Falcocchio said in a statement in April.
Also on Tuesday, teachers in Seattle, Issaquah and Mercer Island held day-long strikes. Overall, teachers in 57 school districts statewide voted for walkouts to protest the Legislature.
Because the strike was only a half day, the school calendar is not affected. The last day of school is June 19.