SEATTLE — Six-year-old Roman Green has had a blast this summer, traveling to Europe with his family and spending plenty of time on his scooter at the Delridge skate park. Next week, he is supposed to start first grade at West Seattle’s K-5 STEM School.
Roman and the rest of Seattle Public School students may have to wait a little longer to go back to class. Seattle teachers voted Monday night to reject the district’s contract offer. Negotiations are continuing, but the current deal ends Saturday night. The main sticking points are teacher evaluations based on student test scores, and an extra half-hour of work a day for elementary teachers that they say results in a pay cut.
The Seattle Public Schools District sent an email out to parents that said, “Seattle Public Schools working to reach agreement with SEA, but possible school may not start on Sept. 4.”
The Seattle teachers’ union, the Seattle Education Association, plans to hold a news conference at 4 p.m. Wednesday to provide an update on contract negotiations.
In the South Kitsap School District, meanwhile, excessive class size is the issue. Teachers there voted Monday night to approve a strike if no agreement is reached with the district by Sept. 1.
“It’s extremely difficult to individualize when students are crammed into classes. Right now the high school has averages of 33-35 per class,” said Judy Arbogast with the South Kitsap Education Association.
The South Kitsap School District began calling parents telling them to make contingency plans in case of a possible teachers strike.
In Mukilteo, a tentative contract agreement has been reached. Teachers are expected to vote on it Wednesday afternoon.