Teachers agree to contract, school starts on time
Maybe bad news for summer-spoiled kids, but school started on time this morning as the result of a contract agreement last night.
The Seattle Education Association, the teacher's union representing over 5,000 members, had initially rejected the contract offered them by Seattle Public Schools. Teacher evaluations, teacher salary, large caseloads for education staff associates and elementary teachers being required to work an extra half-hour were all sticking points.
Last night, in a closed meeting at Benaroya Hall, teachers agreed to a revised contract, allowing school to start on time.
According to Seattle Met's Publicola, the new contract maintains Seattle's own teacher's evaluation system (which is more rigorous than the state version), includes a 4.5 percent raise for teachers over two years along with restoration of furloughed hours, and an agreement on the extra half-hour that elementary teachers have to work. Now, the half-hour doesn't have to be the end of the day and doesn't have to be necessarily for planning time, but can be used however teachers wish.
In addition, according to Publicola, the union was able to scrap the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) test, which became a national controversy last year.
Superintendent Jose Banda sent out the following statement regarding the agreement:
"I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication in negotiating this agreement. I appreciate each and every one of our staff members, whose work contributes to the academic success of our students. All of us at Seattle Public Schools look forward to welcoming our students and families to a new school year tomorrow."
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