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Faculty Fears in Washington

Inside Higher Ed | October 17, 2011

It just got easier to lay off full-time faculty members in Washington State, thanks to a declaration of financial emergency last month by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. But some faculty leaders say the board’s move is more about a power grab than saving money.

Either way, faculty members are worried about the possibility of layoffs. And some observers say other cash-strapped states could try similar maneuvers. [Read full article]

'Emergency' Decree Worries Faculty Union

The Seattle Times | 10/13/11

By Donna Gordon Blankinship
The Associated Press

The decision to declare a financial emergency at community and technical colleges is drawing concern from the union that represents faculty at the schools.

Last month's action by the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges would allow individual colleges to declare their own financial emergencies and then have an easier time laying off faculty without having to adhere to some contracted job protections. (Full article).

Washington School Workers Honored for "Making a Difference Every Day"

Washington News Service | September 2, 2011

KENT, Wash. - Employees at several Washington schools are getting a national nod today as part of "Making a Difference Every Day," a campaign by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to call attention to the good things happening in classrooms around the nation despite budget cuts and layoffs. [more]

Inside Higher Ed | A Line in the Sand

June 17, 2011

As the use of adjuncts has proliferated, opponents of the practice often base their objections on social and economic justice grounds. Adjunct faculty, they say, tend to be exploited and seldom benefit from meaningful job security.

But, in a contract dispute in Washington state, those seeking to temper the use of adjuncts have focused more narrowly on what they say is another consequence of the practice: its impact on educational quality. [full article]

Seattle Times | Cuts hit classes that lead to jobs

When it comes to cutting millions of dollars out of state community- and technical-college budgets this spring, perhaps the most vexing issue is that the very programs that could kick-start new careers won't be available for all the students who want to enroll.

The Legislature last month sliced $84 million from the community- and technical-college budgets for the next biennium, while authorizing 12 percent-a-year tuition increases for the next two years. [read full article]

Seattle PI-online | Claws come out as community college faculty, students protest budget cuts

The faculty at Seattle community colleges are fighting back with everything they have -- including a hoard of fashion design students.

That's who packed the halls at Seattle Central Community College Wednesday afternoon, toting bright signs warning that Seattle might go naked if the college's apparel design program falls victim to Washington state's ever-shrinking budget. [read full article]

Thousands flock to state Capitol, join demonstration

Robin Hindery, The Associated Press | April 9, 2011 | The Olympian

Thousands of union members from all over Washington poured onto the grounds of the state Capitol on Friday, calling on lawmakers to "put people first" by ending corporate tax breaks and painful cuts to public programs.

The protest was by far the largest of four days of boisterous demonstrations in Olympia over spending cuts legislators are considering in order to help close a looming $5 billion budget deficit for the next two-year cycle.

Read more:

Tax breaks need scrutiny | Spokesman-Review | 2/19/11

Rep. Andy Billig, guest columnist

As a freshman legislator, I often feel like a rookie relief pitcher, knowing the home team is counting on me to make the right decisions. One of those decisions is my sponsorship of legislation that will create a closer examination of tax exemptions, institute sunset dates so continuing tax preferences are required to be reauthorized at regular intervals and eliminate tax exemptions that can’t be justified. These measures will protect funding for our kids and communities, and bring more accountability and transparency to the tax exemption system. [more]

The Seattle Times | Dec. 15, 2010 | Give Community Colleges More Flexibility to Help Students, Economic Recovery

Guest editorial by Amy Kinsel

Amy J. Kinsel is a U.S. history instructor at Shoreline, chair of the college's Strategic Planning and Budget Committee and first vice president of the Shoreline Community College Federation of Teachers (local 1950).

THIRTEEN of Shoreline Community College's 129 full-time instructors have received layoff notices, along with staff and administrators, and we have been warned that more cuts are coming. 

Recently named Washington's top community college by, Shoreline is not alone. Colleges across the state expect to absorb a projected 18 percent cut in the next biennium. [read full article].

'Superman' documentary doesn't tell full story about education challenges

Seattle Times | Oct. 7, 2010 | Guest columnist
The new documentary "Waiting for Superman" doesn't tell the whole story about the challenges facing public schools, writes guest columnist Sandra Schroeder. She highlights some of those challenges that need to be considered for widespread success in schools. Read full article.