Support Students, Respect Educators, and Invest in Our Communities

Sign the Petition: https://tinyurl.com/SEECovid

To Superintendent Denise Juneau, Mayor Jenny Durkan, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Governor Jay Inslee:

We are writing to ask that you do everything in your power to support students, staff, and community members in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. As Seattle educators, we are grateful to know that our school district and state have taken key steps toward stopping the spread of the coronavirus by closing schools in Washington State until April 24th. We are also grateful for the steps you have each taken to promote equity at this difficult time, including canceling state-mandated standardized tests, allowing deferred payment plans for Seattle public utilities, and establishing 26 sites for students to pick up breakfast and lunch during the closure period.

At the same time, we are deeply concerned about the negative effects of the outbreak and school closures on Seattle Public Schools students, staff, and community members. As educators and unionists, we want every member of our communities to be able to emerge from this crisis physically, mentally, and economically whole. We believe that it is possible to both ensure safety through social distancing and promote equity through investment in our communities. 

From your respective positions within our school district, city, and state, we ask that you take the following steps to support the well-being of students, staff, families, and community members:

Support Students

  • Continue providing meals to SPS students and families, ensuring that meals are provided in ways that are easily accessible and allow social distancing.
  • Offer youth medical and social emotional supports, including access to nurses, health centers, and social workers. 
  • Ensure that identified students have access to special education services, ELL services, 504 services, and other supports throughout the closure period.
  • Support student access to enrichment materials and supplemental curricula.
  • Prevent un-enrollment or other negative attendance consequences for students who  exercised their right to self-quarantine during the period of community transmission of COVID-19.
  • Continue notification to families and students of confirmed cases to ensure the community is informed of transmission and prevent schools from being reopened during an active transmission period. 

Respect Educators and Other Education Workers

  • Ensure a continuity of pay, health care, retirement, and other benefits for all education workers. 
  • Provide hourly and day wage employees whose contracts have been terminated, including bus drivers, monthly compensation that is equivalent to the average number of hours they have worked per month so far in the 2019-2020 school year throughout the closure period. 
  • Maintain pay and benefits for certificated, classified, and long-term substitute educators that is not based on time sheets.
  • Allow essential staff including security and custodial workers to take leave and self-quarantine without penalties or lost wages or benefits.
  • Support substitute educators’ demand for monthly compensation that is equivalent to the average number of hours they have worked per month so far in the 2019-2020 school year. 
  • Maintain current special education staffing without penalizing schools for attendance numbers during the period of community transmission.
  • Return used sick leave to any education worker who self-quarantined out of an abundance of caution.
  • Follow negotiated COVID-19 protocols, including no disciplinary action against educators for exercising their right to self-quarantine for any reason during the period of community transmission of COVID-19.
  • Honor social distancing protocols by allowing educators to telecommute from home for remote learning throughout the closure period. 
  • Support the work of the Educational Technologists and Curriculum Specialists as they continue to remotely train staff on the use of learning management systems and telecommuting

Invest in Our Communities

  • Suspend mortgage and rent payments without interest throughout the period of community transmission.
  • Enact a city- and state-wide moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, and late fees.
  • Require reasonable payment plans of up to 24 months for all rent, utility, and mortgage payments for tenants and homeowners affected by the epidemic.
  • Require extensions on all expiring leases until at least three months after the emergency declaration.
  • Halt all utility shut-offs for essential utilities, including water, gas, electricity, internet, and cell phone service.
  • Provide access to technology and utilities that support telecommuting and remote learning for low-income families.
  • Provide free, accessible testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for all members of our communities.
  • Support grassroots efforts to meet the needs of communities most affected by school closures.
  • Ensure safe conditions and health care in detention centers, prisons, and youth prisons, and de-incarcerate as many people in these detention centers and prisons as possible to prevent outbreaks. 
  • Advocate for federal and/or state paid family leave, unemployment benefits, and/or universal basic income that covers all wages and benefits lost temporarily or permanently due to COVID-19. 

By calling for these policies, we stand in solidarity with our union siblings who are advancing common good demands in other contexts, including educators in the Chicago Teachers Union, United Teachers Los Angeles, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Movement of Rank-and-File Educators, and Caucus of Working Educators. We also stand in solidarity with other grassroots organizations, community relief efforts, and leaders who are advocating for local families as well as families around the country, including but not limited to Working Washington, COVID-19 Mutual Aid Solidarity Network, Seattle Council Parent Teacher Student Association, Seattle Parent & Caregivers During Covid-19 Outbreak, Wa-BLOC, FEEST, La Resistencia/Northwest Detention Center Resistance, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and Senator Bernie Sanders. Most of all, we stand in solidarity with Seattle students, educators, workers, and families. 

Thank you each for your attention to these issues and for everything you do for our communities. 

 

In solidarity,

Social Equity Educators, including and along with the undersigned:

Sign the Petition: https://tinyurl.com/SEECovid

Lauren Elizabeth Ware Stark, Social Equity Educators and Cleveland High School, Seattle
Jennifer L Hall, Teacher, West Seattle High School, High School director, SEA Board of Directors, Seattle, Wa.
Rebecca Anshell Song, Bellevue
Becky Laird, Special Education Teacher, Kenmore, WA
Kerri Calder-Sudthisa, Parent, Seattle
Carrie Widener, Public school teacher, Seattle WA
Jim Dixon, FCCG
Jon Greenberg,
Amalia l. Arzola, Lincoln elementary, Mesa Arizona
Ariel Hernandez, Teacher in Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, WA
Susan DuFresne, Special Ed Teacher, Renton Education Association , Vashon
Jean Fallow, Seattle, WA
Richard Folsom, Food Worker in Seattle, Seattle, WA
Stefan William Gruber, Nova High animation CTE teacher
Jared Harkness, Nova High School, Seattle
Robert McKay, SEA, HEA, Seattle
Peter Henry, President, Seattle Substitutes Association , Edmonds, WA
Glenda Nicholson, Nova High School,
Lydia Wynn, HS Math Teacher, Seattle
Giselle Alcántar Soto, Teacher, Everett High School in Everett Public Schools District, Everett, WA
Athena Addams, Parent @ Nova, Chief Sealth, & Denny, Seattle
Stephen Kit Stiefel, Hair By Kit, Issaquah WA
Ljiljana Stanojevic, Citizen, Seattle, WA
Kayla Pérez, South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia
Josh Austin, Berkeley Federation of Teachers,
Brian Black, Seattle Education Association and Social Equity Educators, Seattle, WA
Frank Adamson,
Sharon Arthur, Willard Middle School, Berkeley California, Berkeley, CA
Rebecca Garelli, Arizona Educators United- Lead Organizer, Gilbert, AZ
Vanessa Arredondo, Arizona Educators United,
Elizabeth Rapuzzi, Social worker, Seattle
Olivia Geffner, Franklin High School
Lauren Holloway, Franklin High School paraeducator, Seattle WA
Ian Golash, Chief Sealth High School
David Hollingsworth, Franklin High School, Tukwila, WA
Jolene McCann, Franklin High School
Steve Leigh, All, Seattle
Allison Jane Patrick, RESMS Seattle Public Schools Teacher
John Mangum, Franklin High School, Seattle, WA
Bruce Jackson, Aki Kurose, Seattle
Whitney Kahn, Para educator, Seattle WA
M Oxley, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Christian L Mecham, Seattle
Renee Stern, Franklin High School
Jennifer Barfield
Naomi Bosch, Bertschi School
Alfred Snyder, Garfield High School, Seattle
Katie Usher Snyder, Teacher Seattle public Schools Leschi, Washington
Michael Roberts, Seattle, WA
Paige Stockley, Garfield HS as a parent, Seattle
Monica Gartman, Parent of SPS student, Seattle
Alan Kahn, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA
Hang Truong, Garfield HS Parent, Seattle
Guilietta Gukich, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA
Alison Enochs, School Nurse
Adam Gish, Garfield High School Teacher, Seattle
Margaret Jones, Seattle Public Schools, Garfield HS, Science Teacher, Seattle, WA
Jill Freidberg, Garfield High School and UW Bothell, Seattle
Hannah Graether, Franklin High School, WA
Mark Wilkerson, Asa Mercer MS and Garfield HS parent, WA
Jill Wood, Teacher, Crab Orchard WV
Heath Foster, Garfield High School parent, Seattle, WA
kamala jain, garfield high school parent, seattle, wa
Michelle Maher, Garfield, WA
Asher J Marvy, Student, Seattle
Karamo kanny, Instructional Assistant, Seattle
Carl Sheath, Garfield High School
Stephan Kimmerle, Paraprofessional substitute, Seattle, WA
Jeremiah Firman, Seattle
Heather Wilson, Kiddie Academy Support Staff, Everett, WA
Rachel Petrik-Finley, Garfield High School, Seattle
Debbie Kuttner, The Nova Project, Renton, WA
Meryl Geffner
Gregory Patrick Kepner, cloverpark EA, Anderson Island
Michelle Vecchio, Special Education Teacher, Nova HS, Seattle, WA
Phebe O’Neill, Garfield High School, Seattle
Lawrence Arnstein, WA
Yolanda R Jones, Franklin HS, SPS, Seattle Washington
Deborah Patin, Teacher, Yelm, WA
Colleen Farrell, Elementary Teacher, Seattle
Brian D Neville, Garfield High School
Mette Beierle, Garfield High School
Laura Adriance, Teacher, Seattle Public Schools
Shayla Brown, School, Seattle, Washington
Ian Scott, Garfield High School, Seattle, Wa
Jodie Nathan, Parent of public school students, Seattle
Hannah Fleury, OTs and PTs for a Fair Contract, NYC, Jackson Heights
Wayne Miller, Garfield High School – World Languages Teacher, Seattle, WA
Shawna Murphy, PTA Board member
Todd Bohannon, Lake Washington School District, WA
Courtney Gardner, Parent,
Richard Truax, Garfield High School
Jeff Treistman, Denny International Middle School, Seattle
Brian Huseby, None, Tumwater
Steve Leigh, Mr, Seattle
Amy Hagopian, University of Washington, professor of public health, Seattle WA
Sean Canfield
Anna Ludwig
Renato Mendoza Pacheco, SEIU 6, Seattle
Dawn Ketterling
Lisa V Rice, Franklin H.S./ELA Co-Dept. Chair
Elizabeth Lalasz, National Nurses United
Marian Cruz, Retired elementary school teacher, Merced, CA
Andrea Kretchmer McCarthy, SLP/ESA, SPS, Seattle
Lindsay F States, Teacher, Seattle
Gabriella Sanchez-Stern, Seattle Public Schools, Teacher
Edmund Trangen, Roosevelt High School – Classroom Teacher, Seattle
Elizabeth Anne Orme, Roosevelt HS, Teacher, Seattle
Michelle Carter, Roosevelt high school
Barbara Burton, Roosevelt High School, teacher
Anne M Gregory, Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA
Bergitte Olsen, Teacher, Mount Vernon School District
Hanna Minkoff
Oscar Fleet, Student at Garfield High School, Seattle, WA
Joshua P. Simpson, Teacher-Meany Middle School (Seattle), seattle, WA
Jesse Hagopian, Garfield, Seattle, WA
Thomas Nolet, Roosevelt Hight School substitute teacher, Seattle, WA
Katie Gavenus, informal science educator, Poulsbo, WA (and Homer, AK)
Manka Varghese, The University of Washington, Seattle
Carla Okouchi, NEA/VEA/FEA, Fairfax Station, VA
Kolya Ludwig, Pasadena City College, Los Angeles, CA
Adam Gregory Karl
Elizabeth Torres, Garfield High School parent, Seattle
Marlene L. Mathison, Home Hospital tutor Federal Way Public Schools, Federal Way
Jodi Williamson, Louisa Boren STEM K8
heather sorrentino, Teacher
Aeryn Gray
Crystal Dominguez, SPS, Tumwater
Daniel Perez, Louisa Boren STEM K-8, Seattle, WA
Cynthia Baca, Louisa Boren STEM K 8
Hazel Koons, Certificated Substitute, seattle public schools, Kent WA
Kelsey Gibbons, Teacher, Renton School District
Stacia Dawn Hawkinson, Nathan Hale HS, Seattle, WA