Students in the Seattle school district will begin the 2015-16 year on Thursday after teachers reached a tentative contract agreement and ended a strike that delayed the start of the school year.
The agreement between the district and the Seattle Education Association was announced Tuesday. Teachers returned to work Wednesday, and classes will begin Thursday.
"“My sincere thanks to both of the bargaining teams and our mediators for working through the night to reach an agreement," Superintendent Larry Nyland says. "This is great news for our 53,000 students. We are eager to open schools, welcome students and begin learning.”
Jonathan Knapp, the president of the teachers union, said: "This agreement signals a new era in bargaining in public education. We've negotiated a pro-student, pro-parent, pro-educator agreement. We really appreciate the strong support from parents and students."
The union says its full membership will vote Sunday on the contract proposal. It calls for guaranteed 30 minutes of recess for all elementary students; new policies to reduce the over-testing of our students; base salary increases of 3 percent, 2 percent and 4.5 percent, plus the state cost of living allowance of 4.8 percent; and an end to the practice of tying test scores to teacher evaluations.
Classes for 2015-16 were to have begun on Sept. 9, but the unresolved contract dispute resulted in the cancellation of six days of school.