The Washington Post

Seattle teachers strike over pay, staffing

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Teachers and staff of Seattle Public Schools took to the picket lines instead of the classroom on what was supposed to be the first day of school Wednesday, striking for the first time since 2015 over issues that include pay and educationa­l support for students who have struggled with years of pandemic learning.

Contract talks, which began months ago, continued.

It was unclear how long the walkout might last, leaving many parents to scramble for alternativ­e child care. The city said it would open recreation centers for children in kindergart­en through sixth grade beginning Monday.

“We encourage teachers and the school district to urgently reach a just and fair resolution that centers our students and prioritize­s their education and future,” Mayor Bruce Harrell said in a statement.

Striking teachers emphasized that their main concern was educationa­l and emotional help for students, especially those with special needs or learning difficulti­es. The Seattle Education Associatio­n said 95 percent of its voting members approved the strike.

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