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Snoqualmie Valley teachers vote to start classes but will strike if no contract by Sun.

sno valley teacher strikeSNOQUALMIE- Kids in Snoqualmie Valley are ready to go back to school after a long summer break.

“I have a son who’s going to kindergarten and he’s head over heels excited waiting every day for the bus to come,” said Vasanthi Kadavakolu.

School will start Wednesday as planned, but for how long is another questions.  Teachers in the Snoqualmie Valley School District voted Tuesday night to go to work Wednesday without a new contract, but to go on strike next Monday if they don’t have a contract they like by Sunday.

“It’s really stressful.  We’ve been planning all year to come back to school tomorrow.  There are many families on the Ridge who don’t have alternative day care,” said Sara Lee.

The school district’s latest offer would give teachers a 4 percent raise over three years, but the teacher’s union says that’s not enough.

“We are in a high cost living area and we’re a school district that has grown quite significantly.  We are also an award winning school district.  Pretty much every one of our schools has won an award in the last five years and we’re beginning experiencing teachers leaving our district for districts that are closer to home, less commute and have better pay,” said Snoqualmie Valley Education Association President Lisa Radmer.

Teachers also want smaller class sizes.  The district’s latest proposal doesn’t guarantee that, but teachers who have bigger classes would make more money.

Parents are frustrated these negotiations are coming down to the wire, and are hopeful both sides can reach a deal soon.

There are 360 members of the SVEA and there must be a majority vote to approve the contract.

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