The AP (9/9, Le) reports Seattle teachers will begin picketing “after last-minute negotiations over wages and other issues failed to avert a strike in Washington state’s largest school district.” The first day of school has been canceled for all of the district’s 53,000 students. Seattle Education Association vice president Phyllis Campano says the union decided to strike when the district made a last-minute offer that the union “couldn’t take seriously.” Teachers are also going on strike in southeast Washington in Pasco while the state legislature struggles to increase funding for education due to a state supreme court order that sanctions the state $100,000 every day that the lawmakers failed to “adequately pay to educate the state’s 1 million school children.”
The Seattle Times (9/9, Cornwell) reports the Seattle School Board has voted to take legal action against the striking teachers. The strike in Seattle is the first in 30 years.
The New York Times (9/9, Johnson, Subscription Publication) adds that another part of the fight over education funding in Washington is the rise of charter schools. As the number of charter schools grows along with the state funding given to them, public school teachers are more likely to feel squeezed for their own schools’ funding.