Teachers’ unions across the state are pushing for salary increases after lawmakers approved another $1 billion for public education earlier this year. In Seattle, hundreds of educators rallied outside school district headquarters Wednesday.
Teachers held signs saying “Fair Contract Now.” One held a sign that said “I just want to live where I teach.” That was a message a lot of teachers brought up.
DaZanne Davis Porter is a kindergarten teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in South Seattle and a member of the Seattle Education Association bargaining team.
“Cost of living in Seattle is ridiculous,” Davis Porter said. “I was born and raised in Seattle and just recently I had to leave Seattle and move to Renton because I could not afford to stay in Seattle and survive.”
Davis Porter said the two sides haven’t talked specifics about compensation increases yet. She said teachers have watched other school districts such as Bellevue and Lake Washington agree to double-digit raises.
The Seattle school district has said it will face budget challenges in future years because of a cap on local tax levies set by the legislature.