WEA Graded Representative Luanne Van Werven with an ‘F’, while awarding Rep. Sharon Shewmake with an ‘A’ for their votes in Olympia. We understand that a lot of people have different opinions about policy, but we would grade on a very different curve. WEA’s agitprop doesn’t actually describe how either legislator voted, nor did they bother to explain what the trade-offs are when the rubber hits the road. So here it is, in a nutshell:
Rep. Luanne Van Werven voted YES on the following consequential K-12 education bills:
*HB 1599 – Promoting career and college readiness through modified high school graduation requirements. Creates multiple pathways for student to graduate besides standardized testing.
*HB 1216 – Omnibus school safety bill. A bill to increase school safety and student well-being.
*HB 1139 – Omnibus teacher shortage bill. Expands the current and future educator workforce supply by means of teacher retention and recruitment.
*SB 5091 – Increases special education funding
Luanne voted to protect taxpayers by voting NO on SB 5313. This bill will increase local property taxes by modifying the amount of local levies school districts can collect.
Luanne voted NO on the $52.4 billion operating budget which increases state spending by $8 billion, 18%, over the last budget. This budget is not responsible or sustainable.
To pay for this increased spending, Democrats in Olympia increased and raised taxes by $2.4 billion over the next 2 years. Luanne voted NO on tax increases.
Last year the WEA strong-armed schools into giving teachers double-digit pay raises (on top of the increases the legislature allocated) which has put many district budgets in financial jeopardy. Teacher layoffs are coming this year because the pay raises are unsustainable.
Teachers should be paid well because we ask so much of them. Not including the negotiated WEA pay raises, teachers in Whatcom County earn an average of $70,430 (Mt. Baker) to a high of $77,088 (Blaine) *source: Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
The WEA, not Rep. Van Werven, has failed the students and teachers in Washington State.