City and state leaders react to Seattle teachers strike

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SEATTLE -- Local and state leaders weighed in Wednesday on the first Seattle teachers strike in 30 years.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on Wednesday visited one of the many community centers where dozens of kids are passing the time while they're not in school. The mayor is using city budget money to keep the doors open at these community centers until the strike ends.

Murray said he saw the strike coming.

"I’m not surprised, but my hope is that we can get an agreement quickly, that both sides will come together and get an agreement and our kids can get back to school as quickly as possible," Murray said.

Murray told the media he speaks with both parties on a regular basis and he won't take sides to keep the lines of communication open.

State schools chief Randy Dorn said he is disappointed that it's come to this.

"There’s no winners and the real losers are kids, but I think this all goes back to the Legislature not doing their job," Dorn said.  "They’re talking again about not coming to a special session to actually have a solution to (the Washington Supreme Court decision on) McLeary."

Gov. Jay Inslee also expressed his feelings on the strike affecting thousands of families.

"The teachers’ frustration is real and understandable when they struggle to get students what they need to be successful," Inslee said. "The parents’ frustration and anxiety is understandable as school is supposed to have started. But long-term, we need an educational system that is adequately funded, provides the fair pay teachers deserve, and creates the conditions in the classroom that will allow students to succeed."

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