Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's Time: Thursday, September 3rd 4:30 pm

This is a BIG YEAR for NSEA and NESPA and this is a BIG MEETING. Come get informed and organized to shape our professions and schools.

  • The State Supreme Court ruled in our favor. A likely Special Legislative Session will impact our work and schools for years to come.
  • The NSD School Board race has begun. Two of the five board positions are up for election. There are clear choices that will affect us.
  • NESPA is still at the bargaining table and continues to press for professional pay and more hours. Come get an update and make school-wide plans.
  • NSEA has already started preparing for this school year's negotiations and we need your input, participation, and support.
NSEA and NESPA Meeting

Thursday, September 3, 2015

4:30 pm 
(doors open at 4:10 pm)

Woodinville High School Gym


Your participation makes the difference.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Important McCleary Update


I hope this finds you well and enjoying your summer break that is drawing to an end far too soon. As you have probably already heard, the Washington State Supreme Court ordered sanctions imposed on the state Legislature yesterday.  I thought it important to provide an update on what this means for us, as well as giving you some background history, and a summary of the court order.

Due to sanctions being imposed by the court, NSEA is moving the date of our General Membership Meeting to Thursday, September 3rd (the second full day with students) at 4:30 pm. The location of this meeting is yet to be determined. We will get more information out to you soon, but please put this date on your calendar and make plans to attend this important meeting with your colleagues.

Please take a few minutes to read the rest of this email for a more detailed overview of this historic case and the Washington State Supreme Court’s unprecedented action.


In 2005, a coalition of then 11 plaintiffs, led by the Washington Education Association formed the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS), to sue the state for its failure to meet its paramount duty of paying for basic education. The lawsuit was filed in January 2007 and became known as McCleary v State of Washington.

The Northshore School District and the Northshore Education Association are members of NEWS. NSEA President Tim Brittell represents the 83,000 members of the Washington Education Association on the NEWS Board of Trustees, which is headed by Edmonds School District Superintendent Nick Brossoit.

Here is a timeline of events in the McCleary case:

·         August to October 2009: trial was held.
·         February 2010: Judge Erlick issued his ruling that NEWS had proven that the state was violating the constitutional requirement that education funding is the paramount duty of the state.
·         June 2011: the State appealed its case to the State Supreme Court and lost.
·         January 2012: the State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the State of Washington is violating the constitutional paramount duty to amply fund our K-12 public education system by upholding Judge Erlick’s 2010 decision.  The Court took the unusual step of maintaining jurisdiction over the case and ordered the State to report progress being made to fully fund public education by 2018.
·         July 2012: NEWS wins the right to respond to the state reports each year to the Supreme Court.
·         January 2014: the State Supreme Court orders a complete plan for fully implementing the Legislature’s program for basic education by April 1014. The Legislature fails to produce a plan.
·         September 11, 2014: State Supreme Court found the Legislature in contempt for its failure to provide a plan as ordered by the court as to how it was going to meet the full funding requirement by the 2018 deadline.  The Court gave the Legislature until this just concluded legislative session to make progress and present the plan.  The State did not present a plan to the Court.


Yesterday, August 13, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court imposed a sanction in the form of a fine of $100,000 each day the Legislature remains in violation of the Supreme Court’s January, 2014 order. The money must be deposited each day into a separate education account.  The fine, and contempt charges, will be lifted when the Legislature complies with the Court order.

Governor Jay Inslee has ordered legislative leaders to a meeting, this coming Monday, August 17, 2015, to discuss how to meet the requirement of the Court to produce a plan to achieve full funding of the cost of basic education.


Some progress toward full funding was made this past year:

1.      Transportation costs are being met.
2.      Materials, Supplies, Operating Costs (MSOC) goal was met.
3.      Voluntary all day K is funded.
4.      Some money, $350 million, earmarked for K-3 class size reduction.

Where the Legislature failed:

1.      Inadequate money for class size reduction in all grades.
2.      Capital building costs to house the lower class sizes inadequate.
3.      Personnel cost compliance an absolute failure.
4.      Produce a plan to reach full funding as ordered.


The next logical step is to see what the Governor does, or does not do, after the meeting Monday with Legislative leaders from both the House and Senate.  As I stated when I visited schools in the Spring to explain New Business Item 18 from the WEA RA, we need to be patient and let the process play out.  

To that end, we will not be holding a General Membership Meeting on August 26th as we had planned.  Instead, we will be holding the meeting on Thursday, September 3rd. That way we can allow negotiations to continue and Legislature to outline how they will come together to satisfy the Court order.  We are still working on securing a location, but the meeting will begin at 4:30.  Please mark your calendar and plan to attend.  Your building reps will have more information for you when you return to school.

Pasco, Shoreline, Spokane, and Seattle are currently embroiled in heated contract negotiations.  This complicates greatly the earlier discussion about a possible state-wide action this fall.  With the Court now imposing a fine, the Governor calling Legislative leaders together to discuss their next step to end this crisis, and the aforementioned contract negotiations that are underway, it does not seem like the time is right for some sort of coordinated action.  We need to wait and see what happens, and it is imperative that you attend our meeting on Thursday, September 3rd to discuss our plans.

To learn more I encourage you to visit the websites listed below and to like our facebook page (

·         Network for Excellence in Washington Schools (NEWS):

Tim Brittell
Northshore Education Association

Monday, June 22, 2015

NSEA Recommended School Board Candidates

There are two Northshore School Board positions up for election this year. After interviewing candidates and reviewing their answers to a questionnaire, NSEA is endorsing two candidates:

  • David Cogan, Position 3 
  • John Harley Hammond, Position 2 

David Cogan, Position 3 
David Cogan has strong ties to Northshore’s teachers. He will offer a thoughtful, collaborative, and positive voice to represent our community on the Board. Please vote for David in the August Primary. Learn more about David at his website and like his facebook page.

John Hammond, Position 2 
John Hammond is a teacher from the Edmonds School District. He would provide an educator’s voice on the Board, something that is currently lacking. Please vote for John in the November election (there is no Primary for his position).

Please vote in the August primary!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Thanks for a Great School Year

Another school  year is in the books!

This year brought with it many challenges, both for me personally and for our district and union. We had a new student information system, new elementary report cards, and new assessments to grapple with, along with the continued work of the upcoming district reconfiguration and a still endless legislative session.

Through our collective hard work, we were able to accomplish a lot. We passed I-1351 (the class size initiative), we started NSEA Professional Practice Groups, and we had great participation at the education rally at Nathan Hale High School in March. Our May 6th One Day Walkout and Rally was a personal highlight. We came together—teachers, paras, parents, community members—and showed Olympia that it’s time to fully fund public education in Washington. Again, thank you to everyone who made that day such a success.

Before you head out for the summer, here are a few reminders:

Be There: Wednesday, August 26th
Make plans now to be at the NSEA meeting on Wednesday, August 26th at 4:10 pm (location TBD). At this meeting, we will update you on the status of state budget negotiations, NESPA negotiations, and possible actions around the state…including here at Northshore. Next year is a bargaining year, meaning our entire contract is up for negotiation. Your involvement in NSEA activities is crucial, as always. I look forward to seeing you on August 26th!

Check Your Home Email This Summer
As we finish our work, our legislators have yet to agree on a state budget for the next two years. Our lawmakers still haven’t done their job, despite a looming deadline from the State Supreme Court and the real possibility of a state shutdown this summer. Whatever they end up doing in Olympia, the impacts will be felt in our classrooms next year. We will send updates on this and other important information throughout the summer to your home email address. If you are not getting our emails at home, please let Lydia know (

Thank you for all your continued dedication to our students and for your work with NSEA. Have a great summer—see you on Wednesday, August 26th!

Tim Brittell
Northshore Education Association

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Monday, May 4, 2015

A Letter to the Community

It’s Time
Dear Neighbor,

The 1,280 members of the Northshore Education Association (NSEA) will not report to school on Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Instead, we will be participating in a one day walk out in response to the state legislature’s failure to fully fund the costs of basic education and its continued defiance of a State Supreme Court contempt citation, and we ask that you join us.

Your children continue to pay the price for the inaction of the legislature. We ask that you join us in a protest march from Pop Keeney (9809 NE 188th St, Bothell, WA 98011) to The Park at Bothell Landing (9919 NE 180th St, Bothell, WA 98011) for an education rally at on Wednesday, May 6th. Add your voice to the chorus across the state demanding that the legislature follow the order of the Supreme Court and fully fund basic education in Washington State. Please carpool and meet up in the Pop Keeney parking lot by 11:15 am for the march; the rally will begin at 12:00 pm at The Park at Bothell Landing.

Northshore is a litigant in the landmark McCleary case. NSEA members have gone to the State Supreme Court. We have lobbied in Olympia. We worked to pass I-1351 to reduce class sizes in every grade level. Yet Washington continues to rank near our nation’s bottom in class size (47th), per pupil funding (40th), and teacher compensation (42nd). Despite the 2012 State Supreme Court’s decision that the Constitutional rights of Washington’s students were being violated, and despite the Court’s ruling last September that the legislature was in “contempt” for failing to remedy this, school funding has changed little. It’s shocking, and your children are paying too high a price.

The state legislature is currently deliberating on school funding, but the current proposals don’t adequately address the needs. Like educators in Lake Washington and 18+ other school districts around the state, we did not make the decision to walk out lightly. We know how our community counts on our schools to be open. We have made accommodations for all AP and IB testing to continue, and encourage all after school activities to be held as usual.

We recognize this is an inconvenience, but we ask for your patience and support. We are advocating for resources your children need to be successful in both school and in life. By closing for a day (which will be rescheduled like a snow day), we hope to shine a spotlight on the legislature’s current deliberations and to achieve a better outcome for our children.

If you cannot attend the rally on Wednesday, May 6th, please call your legislator on the Legislative Hotline (800-562-6000) and leave a message: Fund our schools with adequate and stable revenue.

For more information about the McCleary decision and the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools, please click here.
For more information about the legislative session, click here.


Tim Brittell
Northshore Education Association

Letter to the Community (Spanish Version)

Querido vecino,

Los 1,280 miembros de la Asociación Educativa de Northshore (NSEA) no van a presentarse al trabajo en las escuelas el miércoles 6 de mayo, 2015.  En lugar de eso, vamos a participar en un día de protesta en respuesta al fracaso de la legislatura para financiar en su totalidad los costos de la educación básica y su desafío continuado del desacato de desprecio de la Corte Suprema del Estado, y le pedimos que nos acompañe.

Sus hijos continúan pagando el precio para la inacción de la legislatura.  Le pedimos que nos acompañe en una marcha de protesta desde Pop Keeney hasta el parque Bothell Landing en el centro de Bothell para una marcha de protesta de educación en Bothell Landing el miércoles 6 de mayo.  Añada su voz al coro del estado demandando que la legislatura siga la orden de la Corte Suprema y financiar en su totalidad la educación en el estado de Washington.

Northshore es un litigante en el caso histórico de McCleary.  Los miembros del NSEA han ido a la Corte Suprema del Estado.  Hemos presionado con mítines en Olympia.  Trabajamos para pasar Iniciativa-1351 para reducir el tamaño de las clases de cada nivel.  Todavía, Washington continua estando cerca del fin de la lista de los tamaños de las clases en la nación (47 de 50), financiamiento por estudiante (40 de 50), y compensación para maestros (42 de 50).  A pesar de la decisión de la Corte Suprema del Estado de 2012 que los derechos constitucionales de los estudiantes de Washington fueron violados y a pesar de las decisiones de la Corte del septiembre pasado que la legislatura estaba en "desprecio" por el fracaso de remediar eso, el financiamiento para escuelas ha cambiado muy poco.  Es espantoso y desgraciado que sus niños están pagando un precio grandísimo.

La legislatura del Estado está deliberando sobre el financiamiento de las escuelas, pero las propuestas actuales no responden adecuadamente a las necesidades.  Como los educadores de Lake Washington y 18+ otros distritos escolares en el estado, la decisión de protestar no fue hecha facilmente.   Sabemos cómo nuestra comunidad cuenta en nuestras escuelas para estar abiertas.  Hemos hecho alojamientos para continuar todos los examenes de AP y IB, y alentamos que todas las actividades después de escuela pasen de costumbre.

Reconocemos que esto es un inconveniente pero pedimos su paciencia y su apoyo, y que nos acompañe.  Estamos abogando por recursos que sus niños necesitan para ser exitosos en ambos la escuela y en la vida.  En cerrar por un día (que sera reprogramado como un día de nieve) esperamos a enfatizar las deliberaciones actuales de la legislatura y para lograr un mejor resultado.  Si usted no pueda asistir la marcha de protesta el miércoles 6 de mayo, en el parque Bothell Landing, por favor, llame a su legislador o llame a (800) 562-6000 y deje un mensaje: "Financie nuestras escuelas con ingresos adecuados y estables."

Tim Brittell, Presidente

Northshore Education Association

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One Day Walk Out: May 6

With a 63% vote, NSEA members will participate in a one day walk out on Wednesday, May 6th in response to the State Legislature’s failure to make adequate progress toward fully funding public education. Thank you to everyone who voted—we had a tremendous response rate.

Instead of reporting to work on Wednesday, May 6th, schools will be assigned to picket locations for either an AM shift (7:15 to 10:15) or a PM shift (2:30 to 5:30). We are also holding a rally around the noon hour. Details are still being worked out with the city of Bothell.  Parents, students, and community members are invited to join us at this rally. A separate email is being sent to the home of all Northshore students explaining this action.  Wear red and dress for comfort. AP and IB testing will go on as normal. SBAC testing can and will be rescheduled. Field trips and after school activities will go on. The day will be made up just like a snow day. The last day for students will now be Thursday, June 18; the last day for teachers will be Friday, June 19th.

This promises to be an exciting day. Lake Washington EA will also be participating in a one day walk out on May 6th; Shoreline EA is voting right now and they are planning to go out on the 6th as well. We will be among the over 20 districts across the state that are walking out in protest over the state’s lack of education funding. The last time NSEA participated in walk out was back in 1999. Through our picketing and rally next week, we hope to influence the state legislature as they work to create a final budget.

Washington continues to rank toward the bottom for education in the nation. We are:

  •  40th in per pupil funding, despite a State Supreme Court decision that students’ constitutional rights are being violated due to lack of funding
  •  47th in class size, despite voters supporting I-1351 to reduce class size
  •  42nd in teacher compensation, despite voter support for educator COLAs.
Washington can do better. It’s time.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Walk Out? It's Up to You

Every day, more local education association members across the state are voting to take a one day walk out against the state legislature.

Our vote starts Monday at 7:00 am. Please take some time this weekend to consider how you will vote and visit our website for more information.

You'll be asked to vote yes or no to the following:

The State Legislature's proposed budgets fail to make adequate progress toward fully funding basic education, as ordered by the State Supreme Court; they also fail to implement voter-approved I-1351 to reduce class sizes. In response, local education associations around Washington are participating in a series of coordinated one day rolling walk outs.

Should NSEA participate in a one day walk out?

The Legislature has made it clear - they are not interested in finding the way to fully fund education.  Their solution for school funding:
  • Less money than required by the Supreme Court and I-1351;
  • Less money than necessary to improve pay to the competitive level that is needed;
  • Less money than our schools need to ensure the best opportunity for success for our students.

Why a walk out? Why now?

WEA members from across the state have collectively sent hundreds of thousands of messages to legislators through emails, postcards, phone calls, and visits to Olympia but the attacks just keep coming.

Attacks on compensation:  After 6 years of no COLA, the best proposal on the table is a 4.8% increase over two years while the legislature is poised to be receiving an 11.2% raise.  Senate Republicans just put forward legislation that would cap already bargained pay and eliminate the future ability to bargain compensation at the local level.

Attacks on class size:  Not one of the budgets proposed by the Governor, Senate, or House fully funds I-1351 to reduce class sizes in all grades K-12.  The Senate budget goes even further by eliminating the additional supports for grades K-3 in high poverty schools and putting the issue back to the voters.

Attacks on local control:  The latest proposals take away the ability of districts to bargain competitive salaries to attract and retain the best and brightest teachers.  It also limits the ability of a local school district to supplement state funds for class size reductions or provide resources that are considered part of basic education.

Attacks on health care:  The Senate wants to eliminate bargaining of our health insurance at the local level.  All school employees would be part of a state-run system. 

Attacks on the profession: Although currently none of the bills contains language around tying test scores to evaluation, we fully expect this issue to be thrown into the final budget at the last minute. 

This is a walkout against the Legislature, not the District.  By joining other locals from around the state, we can put the pressure where it belongs - on the Legislature for finding a way to put the resources in our schools for student success.

Help legislators understand: 
  • It's time to support teachers, specialists, school employees, and KIDS! 
  • It's time to fund schools, reduce class size and caseloads and increase our pay to comparable professional levels!