Teachers, school advocates bring call for funds to Sequim streets

Monday, May 18, was anything but a typical school day in Sequim.

Monday, May 18, was anything but a typical school day in Sequim.

Reflecting the one-day, unpaid districtwide work stoppage organized by Sequim Education Association members, the schools were void of all students and teachers.

Sequim is one of several school districts across Washington pursuing work stoppages in hopes of conveying a strong message to the state Legislature and to bring awareness to the lack of the Legislature’s progress following the 2012 McCleary decision.

In their fight to get public education fully funded, Sequim teachers marched from Carrie Blake Park to downtown Sequim, picketed at street corners and pursued community service such as cleaning playground equipment and picking up trash along the roadways.

“Even if there is no tangible impact, increasing the public’s awareness is huge,” Brian Berg, chief negotiator for Sequim Education Association, teacher and secondary math professional development coordinator, said.

By noon, Sequim teachers traveled to Port Angeles to collaborate with teachers from the Port Angeles School District also in the midst of a work stoppage.

Other one-day school district work stoppages coinciding on May 18 included North Kitsap, Wenatchee and Eastmont. Although the number of participating schools continues to grow, 57 schools are preparing to or already have held work stoppages to protest the state’s Legislature.

For an updated list and map of participating school districts, visit ourvoicewashingtonea.org/walk-outs/.

Despite the absence of students and teachers May 18, all year-round employees at the Sequim School District, including maintenance and administrative staff, were conducting business as usual.