Letter to the Editor: Shoreline Community College teachers plan walk out Tuesday

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

To the Editor:

This Tuesday, Shoreline Community College teachers are walking out. As an adjunct instructor at Shoreline, and a resident of this city, I’m writing to reach out to my community for support.

Because I both teach and work in Shoreline, I have seen firsthand the value SCC holds for our city. Community colleges offer an affordable option for people of all ages and backgrounds to continue their education without taking on mountains of student debt, and students feel a sense of community that is often missing from large universities.

However, the state of community colleges is bleak: over 70% of faculty are adjuncts, we have quarter-to-quarter contracts, minimal job security, and dismal pay. Adjunct faculty are often forced to teach at multiple colleges, take additional part-time jobs, and file for unemployment over breaks. Classes can be cancelled at the last minute, leaving faculty struggling to pay their rent. Our full-time counterparts are struggling too.

Underfunding has many negative impacts on our amazing students as well: increased student tuition, decreased support services, and canceled classes. Students might have an instructor who is barely on campus because she is commuting between three different schools.

While K-12 teacher walkouts have been getting a lot of press recently, community colleges are ignored despite the critical role we play in educating our citizens. They are being strangled and the system must change if they are to survive, but legislators don’t listen. We—students, faculty, staff—want to feel valued, but they show us we are not. Thus, multiple colleges are staging a walkout on April 16th. SCC will lead a teach-in on campus in the morning, and then we’ll march down to 160th and Aurora in the afternoon. So if you see us, honk in support! Then contact your legislators before April 28th and tell them to REINVEST in our community and technical colleges.

Laurel Ecke
Shoreline



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