Classes canceled for Kent School District for the second day as teacher strike continues

The first day of school was delayed again due to a strike and work stoppage.

KENT, Wash. — The first day of school has been postponed for the second time in the Kent School District as teachers continue to strike.

The quarter tweeted that classes on Friday 26 August will be cancelled.

The delay comes as Kent teachers are on strike amid contract negotiations with the district. The Kent Education Association advocates higher pay and more manageable caseloads and class sizes.

Teachers spent Thursday striking outside their school buildings to raise awareness of measures they are negotiating with the district.

Connie Compton, a special education teacher, pickets outside Jenkins Creek Elementary. She says along with a pay rise, teachers are demanding more support staff to help students and smaller class sizes.

“I was only supposed to have 30 students in my caseload, last year I had up to 41,” Compton said. “I can’t provide the services that students need when I have so many cases.”

“I will [parents] knowing that we’re here because we care about their children,” Compton said.

The Kent Education Association voted to authorize the strike on Tuesday and warned they would impose a work stoppage if no deal was reached by Wednesday. The union also passed a vote of no confidence to the district superintendent and the school board.

Referring to ongoing negotiations at a regular school board meeting on Wednesday, the district superintendent said everyone has the interests of the students in mind.

The district said it “remains committed to reaching an agreement and starting school as soon as possible.”

The last time the Kent Education Association went on strike was in 2009, according to a union spokesman. The teachers said they would return to the picket lines until an agreement is reached. Classes canceled for Kent School District for the second day as teacher strike continues

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