No school for Seattle students as teachers strike enters second day

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SEATTLE -- There will be no classes again today for tens of thousands of public school students in Seattle as teachers will remain on strike.

The strike in Washington's largest school district affects about 53,000 students.

Mediators are meeting with teachers Thursday.

Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Stacy Howard says Washington's largest school district is hoping for a quick resolution.

"Our goal here is to make them feel like they're getting what they deserve" and to make sure the students get what they need, Howard said. "We're hoping for a quick resolution."

Washington Education Association spokesman Rich Wood said the strike is "an issue of respect." He says the school board is continuing talks about major issues they have been discussing all summer.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he understands the frustrations of teachers, parents and others as educators in the state's largest school district strike.

The Democrat said in a statement Wednesday that the state needs an "educational system that is adequately funded and provides the fair pay teachers deserve."

The state Supreme Court has said lawmakers have failed to adequately fund education for 1 million schoolchildren. Justices are fining the state $100,000 a day until it comes up with a fix.

The walkout is the first in the district in three decades and comes as teachers, who have gone six years without a cost-of-living pay raise, complain that Seattle's booming tech economy has rapidly increased living expenses.

The head of the nation's largest teachers union says "all eyes are on Seattle right now" as educators walk the picket lines.

Lily Eskelsen Garcia, president of the National Education Association, said Seattle teachers are fighting for reasonable testing policies, a fair discipline policy and securing the tools they need to do their jobs.

Garcia says those are "issues that every educator in the country is grappling with right now." She says that if teachers gain traction in Seattle, they will give hope to other educators nationwide.

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