Seattle-area teachers and their supporters, as seen from the Space Needle, prepare to march through downtown.
No, The Stranger didn't buy a helicopter or use a drone. Photographer Alex Garland snapped this shot from the Space Needle of teachers and their supporters gearing up to march through downtown today. Alex Garland

Thousands of teachers from around the state walked off the job today to protest the legislature's underfunding of schools, excessive standardized testing, and too-large class sizes.

"The only clear consequence of Tuesday’s walkout by Seattle teachers is that students will lose one precious day of instruction," bemoans the Seattle Times editorial board. But that's plain old misleading.

"We're making up the day at the end of the year," said substitute teacher Manuel Cadenas, as the strikers and their supporters rallied in Westlake Plaza. He said the state's ranking in class sizes—47th largest in the nation—is unacceptable. (The Times editorialized against the voter-approved statewide initiative to reduce class sizes last fall, so it's no surprise it's opposing the strikes today.)

Issaquah and Mercer Island teachers joined the local strike actions. Walkouts were reported on the other side of the state, in Wenatchee, too.

And the Seattle school district itself agrees with the teachers' unions about the troubling (and State Supreme Court condemned) underfunding of schools, as KPLU reports:

Seattle Public Schools superintendent Larry Nyland's letter informing parents of the strike acknowledges teachers were targeting state lawmakers, not district officials.

"The SEA action is not directed at Seattle Public School as a district," Nyland wrote, "but is a statement to the state legislature about the current lack of adequate state funding for basic education and we share that concern."

According to the Washington Education Association, more than 6,000 teachers and support staff walked off the job today.

Whether the successful one-day strike moves the needle in Olympia, where Senate Republicans have blocked virtually all things progressive during this year's legislative session, remains to be seen.