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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

WA workers who help schools run call for higher wages

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024   

Workers who help Washington state classrooms run are calling for higher wages.

Known as classified staff, their jobs include administrative work, transportation and custodial services. Unions representing workers, including the American Federation of Teachers of Washington and Washington Education Association, have launched a wage campaign to increase pay for these workers.

Anitra Wise, a para-educator with the Tacoma School District, helps teachers in the classroom and said her wages simply aren't enough.

"We have to work two and three different jobs just to catch up with the cost of living, including housing, groceries and things that we need to survive," she said.

With Washington state school districts out for summer, classified staff members face another challenge: the suspension of their low wages.

Wise said she's working at summer school this year.

"We have to supplement that income somehow, and I really don't get a summer, because I have to work just to supplement my income," she continued.

Wise added classified staff have many important jobs, including the work she does as a para-educator in the classroom.

"We're the glue that keep it together, do all the small jobs and the big jobs, too. Because without the team of para-educators, the teachers would not be able to teach, and para-educators are teachers also," she said.

Disclosure: American Federation of Teachers of Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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