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Legislature Should Let Community College Faculty Manage Their Own Affairs

Feb. 21, 2014 | | Guest Opinion by Karen Strickland and Michael Boggess

If you or someone you know has taken a class at one of Washington's community and technical colleges, there is a 50-50 change that the instructor was a part-time faculty member. For decades, higher education institutions across the country have increasingly hired part-time, adjunct or contingent faculty to reach, primarily because of shrinking state funding. [full article]

"Pay it Forward" aims to change how students fund college

Feb. 21, 2014 | USA TODAY | Alex Koma, Collegiate Correspondent

The "Pay it Forward" program may change the way students pay for their college education. A bill making its way through Washington state's House of Representatives has the potential to change the way students pay for college. . . . "The program is addressing a problem we all agree exists, but the problems outweight the benefits," says Karen Strickland, president of the Washington chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, . . . ." [full article]

A Few More Bucks in Washington Teachers' Pockets?


Washington News Service | January 20, 2014 | Chris Thomas, Producer

SEATTLE - An issue coming up again this year in the Washington Legislature is whether to restore the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) to paychecks of teachers and other education workers who have done without it since 2009. - Read or listen to entire story at:

Renton Bus Drivers, Mechanics Involved In Their Community


Public News Service - WA | December 24, 2013 | Chris Thomas, Producer

RENTON, Wash. - Christmas is on a Wednesday this year, but many Wednesdays will be special days in the New Year for the bus drivers and mechanics of the Renton School District, in the suburban area south of Seattle. They spend one Wednesday evening a month helping to prepare and serve the Renton Community Supper, a nightly hot meal provided through the Salvation Army. [read or listen to full story]

Washington's I-BEST Program Catches On

Public News Service - WA | December 27, 2013 | Chris Thomas, Producer

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Not all teens or young adults who show up at college are ready to be there, but a program at Washington's community colleges has been so successful at transitioning them that it's gained national attention.

I-BEST turns seven in January. It stands for Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training. [read or listen to the full story]

Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education


Washington News Service | Chris Thomas, Producer | Dec. 9, 2013

SEATTLE - Today is a National Day of Action for teachers' unions and community groups, called "Reclaim the Promise of Public Education." The premise is that students from different ethnic and income backgrounds will not have equal opportunities to learn as long as public school funding, staff and subjects continue to be cut. [Full audio and written version here.]

AFT Washington President Karen Strickland on the importance of a public education system that supports those who work at schools and colleges with adequate resources and professional development as well as providing the community and students with the ability to achieve their dreams.

She believes that the two major routes to creating social and economic justice are public education and the labor movement. Watch Karen's video at


Green River Community College Faculty Want Increase in Salaries


Seattle Times Education Blog | by Katherine Long, reporter | Nov. 22 with update on Nov. 23

More than 150 Green River Community College faculty members presented a petition to the college’s board of trustees Thursday asking that an increase in state funding be put toward a boost in faculty salaries, particularly for adjunct faculty. [read full story]

Mayor, legislators urge UW to settle labor dispute with language teachers

The Seattle Times Education Blog | Posted by Katherine Long, Reporter

Five Democratic state legislators and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn are calling on the University of Washington to settle a long-running contract dispute with the university’s International English Language faculty.[read full blog article]

Campus Equity Week: Full-Time Respect for Part-Time Professors


Public News Service - WA | Chris Thomas, Producer

October 28, 2013

SEATTLE - This is Campus Equity Week, in recognition of adjunct or part-time faculty members who are teaching most college classes today in Washington. They have all the responsibilities, but few of the perks, that come with being a professor. Some have no health insurance and work at more than one school to piece together a steady income. - See more at: