School will start Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Kent School District. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Kent School District

School will start Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Kent School District. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Kent School District

Back to school: Kent teachers ratify new contract | Update

67% of teachers voted to approve two-year deal; new contract includes 7% wage hike in 2022-2023;

Teachers with the Kent Education Association (KEA, union) approved a new collective bargaining agreement Wednesday night, Sept. 7 at the Kent-Meridian High School gym.

Classes will begin Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Kent School District after a nine-day strike delayed the start from Aug. 25.

The union and district agreed to a two-year contract. It was a 67% vote by teachers to approve the contract, according to KEA.

The highlights, according to a KEA news release, include:

• Additional training and collaboration time

• Improved incentives to encourage the district to:

Fill paraeducator positions

Keep class sizes smaller

Keep caseloads manageable for occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists

• New wage ranges that mean Kent is competitive with area districts:

7% increase in the 2022-23 school year

1% + inflationary increase funded by the state

Bargaining teams from the district and the union met throughout the weekend and reached a tentative agreement at 2:43 a.m. Wednesday morning. Picket lines were called off for Wednesday, but community activities such as lunch distribution, backpack giveaways and teacher story times went on as planned Wednesday afternoon, according to the KEA.

KEA is made up of 1,700 classroom teachers in the Kent School District. Unions representing other staff have also been facing difficult negotiations with the district this year. KEA is affiliated with the statewide Washington Education Association and National Education Association, both of which represent K-12 teachers, support staff and higher-education employees.

School district response

“We are pleased to announce KEA ratified the contract tonight and we look forward to starting the school year and welcoming students tomorrow (Thursday)”, according to a district statement.

Additional schedule information for families:

• Grades 1-12 start Thursday, Sept. 8

• Kindergarten students start Tuesday, Sept. 13

• Meridian Preschool, Park Orchard Preschool, and Early Childhood Special Education Preschool (ECSE) start Tuesday, Sept. 13

• Kentridge and Kentwood high school day cares, and KYFS Head Start/ECEAP: Please contact your child’s school starting Thursday, Sept. 8 for schedule updates.

• Middle school athletics begin on Friday, Sept. 9.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Kent Police catch burglary suspect after pursuit, foot chase

Sunday morning, July 21 on East Hill; officer fires Taser to stop man from fleeing

Sheriff’s Office cuts school resource officers at Kentwood, Kentlake

Lack of staff causes change; district renews Kent Police officer contract at Kent-Meridian, Kentridge

Kent Police arrest woman in domestic violence case after 4-hour standoff

27-year-old woman reportedly attacked husband, father-in-law Monday, July 22

Kent man, 47, under investigation for vehicular assault on SR 509

Wrong-way driver in northbound lanes collided with two vehicles; 6 people injured in Burien crash

9th Congressional District Rep. Adam Smith, 8th Congressional District Rep. Kim Schrier, 1st Congressional District Rep. Suzan DelBene and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell are among Democrats from Washington state who support President Joe Biden’s decision to stop his re-election campaign. Courtesy photos
WA Democrat leaders ‘applaud’ Biden for dropping out of race

Smith, Schrier, DelBene and Cantwell released statements in support of President Biden’s Sunday decision to no longer seek re-election.

Gov. Inslee appoints Pat Sullivan to lead state budget office

Sullivan previously served as House District 47 state representative for Kent, Covington, Auburn

Kent Police seek man who reportedly tried to kidnap girl from apartment

Man allegedly reached into bathroom window to grab girl in attempted kidnapping

Kent Police arrest man, 18, in fatal shooting of 13-year-old boy

Judge finds probable cause to hold the Kent man for murder, attempted murder and robbery

The Judge Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center in Seattle that handles juvenile detention. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
High-profile juvenile crimes continue to rock Kent this summer

Six incidents in five weeks include fatal shooting, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault

King County Correctional Facility in Seattle. COURTESY PHOTO, King County
Kent man charged with attempted kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man allegedly try to take girl from apartment complex parking lot

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Kent man receives 8-year sentence in 2021 fatal shooting

Pleaded guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter in shooting at apartment complex over parking dispute

Courtesy Photo, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Judge finds probable cause to hold Kent man for kidnapping girl

Man, 40, reportedly grabbed 6-year-old girl in East Hill apartment complex parking lot