The Seattle Education Association shut down public schools for the first day of classes just one week after the U.S. Department of Education announced the worst learning loss seen in the United States in 30 years.
After a vote in which 95 percent of unionized teachers chose to strike, Seattle Public Schools was forced to close its doors until the teachers’ union is ready to send teachers back to work.
The union bragged about keeping children out of schools on Twitter, attempting to make the argument that it is about meeting students’ needs as opposed to the union’s needs.
Educators and supporters from across Seattle gathered in front of SPS HQ tonight to send a strong message: the district needs to meet student needs NOW! Our bargaining team is still at the table and we are still working toward an agreement. pic.twitter.com/sb66vn2c31
— SeattleEdAssoc (@SeattleEdAssoc) September 7, 2022
At issue was teacher salary as well as staffing ratios for multilingual students and special education.
While they argue they support students, teacher strikes typically end up harming students in the process of negotiations with the school district. Seattle Public Schools is the largest school district in Washington state.
“While we are disappointed with the Seattle Education Association’s (SEA) authorization to strike, we remain committed to negotiating a new contract with our educators,” the school district said in a statement.
In February, the school district announced dismal education numbers in which only 54 percent of fourth graders and 51 percent of eighth graders “met or exceeded standards,” while fewer than 50 percent of eleventh graders met those standards.
The district saw school closures during the coronavirus pandemic which were draconian and harmful to students –many of which were pushed and elongated by teachers’ unions.
As Breitbart News reported, President Joe Biden’s Department of Education admitted that the primary reason for the learning loss was keeping children out of classrooms.
Tiffany Smiley, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate taking on longtime Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), released a statement slamming the coronavirus lockdowns and the teachers’ union decision to keep them closed as the new school year was set to begin. Smiley said in a statement:
Students across Washington – and the country – have fallen behind in their education as teachers unions forced schools to remain closed for far too long during the pandemic, despite scientific evidence that showed kids are far less susceptible to COVID-19. Newly released data shows that students’ reading and math test scores have fallen sharply since 2020, when schools were shut down and our children had to rely on remote and distance learning.
“While I agree teachers need to be paid more – and our education system needs massive reforms – now is not the time to keep students out of the classroom,” she continued. “Unlike my opponent Patty Murray – who refuses to admit it was a mistake to keep students out of the classroom for so long during the pandemic – I will always stand with Washington families and our students who deserve the best possible education we can provide.”
As Breitbart News reported, Murry’s lead over Smiley recently dipped below three percent.
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.