This is it. After several months of behind the scenes work by OSPI, the newly appointed Paraeducator Board convened this week. We have our work cut out for us thanks to the guidance provided by the recommendations of the Paraeducator Work Group, the one PSE’s own Doug Nelson participated in. This is what we have been waiting and hoping for going back many years. This is the recognition that paraeducators specifically, and by extension all education support professionals, have been asking for.
A little reminder on how we got where we are. Way back in May, seems like a lifetime ago now that school is back in session, the Paraeducator Bill was finally signed into law. The culmination of at least six years of hard fought effort by stakeholders across the state. The new law directed OSPI to create the Paraeducator Board for the purpose of taking the work group’s nine recommendations and writing the policies to implement them. The new nine-member board, including PSE members Laura Rogers and myself, was appointed in July and will meet every other month for the next two years. During that time we will be taking input from all stakeholders with an interest in the education of children in Washington, which includes PSE members.
It is critical that paraeducators take an active role in helping to inform the work of the Paraeducator Board. The three paraeducaors on the board cannot know all the needs and interests of Washington’s paraeducators and their diverse communities. Your input and participation in the process will be invaluable. At the very least follow the progress of the board so that you can share with the members of your chapter. The Paraeducator Bill is for us and those who will come after us. This will be our legacy to the next generation of Washington students and the professionals who support them.
You can follow our progress, contact the board for public comment, and view the proceedings live via webinar. In keeping with Washington sunshine laws all board meetings and materials are open and available to the public.
Get involved – We Own It!
Unions ensure our right to win livable wages, health insurance, and a brighter future for our families.
As you celebrate Labor Day with your family and friends, take a moment to remember the meaning behind the three-day weekend. This holiday is celebrated because union members like you fought for it. They fought for and won fair and safe treatment on the job, a minimum wage, overtime, child labor laws, and weekends. Union members gave their blood, sweat, and tears so that we can all recognize and enjoy these freedoms and more.
Unions ensure our right to win. Let’s stand together and keep our union strong.
Your benefits as a PSE SEIU Local 1948 member include emergency assistance, a lawyer referral program, scholarships for you and your dependents, and discounts on dental services, accidental death & dismemberment insurance, movie tickets, travel, cell phone service, mortgages, and more.
Today, Governor Jay Inslee signed the historic McCleary school funding bill. Amidst the details of state property tax, increased salary allocations, changes to levy collections, the solution also includes a new insurance system for K-12, the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB).
Under SEBB, basic education employees who work over 630 hours per school year will receive full state insurance funding. For the thousands of classified school employees drowning in health insurance premiums, SEBB will provide much-needed and long overdue relief. All insurance plans, employee and employer insurance payments will be decided by the SEBB beginning in 2020. Additionally, K-12 insurance funding will equal that of state employees.
“Health insurance is a critical issue for classified school employees,” said PSE President Charlotte Shindler. “With premiums rising dramatically year after year, many of our members spend most of–if not all–their entire paycheck on insurance coverage. For the thousands of classified school employees struggling with health insurance premiums, SEBB will provide affordability, stability, and long overdue relief.”
This victory for our state’s 60,000+ education support professionals wouldn’t have been possible without the advocacy and lobbying efforts of PSE members. Your calls to the legislative hotline, letters sharing your personal health insurance stories, and conversations with your elected representatives were vital to this success. Thank you for stepping up and having your voices heard!
For more information on SEBB and other details of the McCleary solution, click here.
It’s time for affordable health insurance. Call 360-902-4111 and tell Gov. Inslee to sign HB 2242 & School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) into law.
The legislature’s plan to fully fund education (House Bill 2242) includes a new insurance system for K-12, the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB). Under SEBB, basic education employees who work over 630 hours per school year will receive full state insurance funding. For the thousands of classified school employees drowning in health insurance premiums, SEBB will provide much-needed and long overdue relief.
Governor Inslee has until Wednesday to sign HB 2242, which includes SEBB, into law.
When signed into law, all insurance plans, employee and employer insurance payments will be decided by the SEBB beginning in 2020. Additionally, K-12 insurance funding will equal that of state employees.
For more information on SEBB, click here.
Governor Inslee now gets his chance to approve the hard fought McCleary solution after the House and Senate easily approved HB 2242. House vote: 67=26. Senate vote: 32-17.
In quick order the House and Senate have both approved the 2017-19 operating budget. House vote: 70-23. Senate vote: 39-10. Governor Inslee is expected to sign the bill long before the deadline of midnight tonight.
Just a couple minutes ago, legislative leaders released the budget. At that site you can click on different displays of the budget documents. Plenty of good news!
If I find more details in the 617 page budget, I will update in a future blog.
In 2 hours, Governor Inslee will start the 3rd special session. With only 9 days left before the current budget expires (and therefore all funding for state funded programs), budget negotiators have as much pressure on them as possible to reach an agreement. Strategically, they will need to announce the agreement by the 26th, no later than the 27th, in order to get everybody to town, brief them on the agreement and to get the staff to prepare the paperwork so they have all the information necessary for the final votes. Will they make it in time? My guess, and it is only a guess, is they won’t.
Will there be a government shutdown? My guess, and it is only a guess, is there won’t be a government shutdown because they will pass a one or two month extension of current state funding.
Sitting on the sidelines impatiently watching this is the Supreme Court demanding that they reach a conclusion to fully fund K 12 education. Will they add another sanction to the $100,000 per day fine to get the legislators to take their order seriously?