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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 9, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Washington Education Association must embrace diversity

The WEA is already diverse

First and foremost, the Washington Education Association (WEA) is not a teacher’s union [“WEA: a time for self-reflection,” Opinion, April 5]. We represent professionals employed in all areas of the education field. Custodians, school secretaries, para educators, bus drivers, community-college professors, and yes, teachers.

Lynne K. Varner’s column implies that the WEA supports Democratic candidates only. In actuality, one-third of our members are registered Republicans, including multiple members of both the WEA board of directors and the WEA-PAC board.

The WEA-PAC board has endorsed and made financial contributions to multiple Republican candidates over the years — Dave Reichert, Kim Wyman, Mike Hope and Cathy Dahlquist, to name a few. When endorsing candidates, our filter is, “Will this person support public education as it is outlined in the state constitution?”

When the WEA says, “Show us the money,” we are talking about lowering class size, currently the fourth highest in the nation. We are talking about reducing the amount of money poured into testing in our states, estimated between $75 to $100 million. Washington is first in the nation for money spent on testing.

Martha de Carbonel Patterson, WEA member, Silverdale

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