Tumwater teachers authorize 1-day strike to protest funding

The Tumwater Education Association (TEA) has voted to stage a one-day walkout on May 22.

“This is a one day walkout to protest the Legislature’s failure to adhere to the state’s Constitutional mandate to fully fund public education,” read a statement released by union on Thursday. “The TEA has made it clear that this is not an action against the Tumwater School District.”

Classes will be canceled in the district that day, giving families a four-day Memorial Day weekend, according to school district spokeswoman Kim Howard.

Tumwater’s nearly 400 teachers originally agreed to strike on May 15, but “at the suggestion of the district, the 22nd was chosen in order to give parents more time to plan,” the union’s statement read.

In order to make up the lost day, a full day of classes will be held on June 11, and the last day of school will be a half-day on Friday, June 12, Howard said.

According to the Washington Education Association, teachers in more than 30 districts have authorized one-day strikes against the Legislature over school funding for smaller class sizes, pay and benefits.

Teachers in North Thurston and Shelton held an evening rally on Wednesday in Olympia to try and get the same message across to lawmakers.