A Kent Education Association teachers strike rally Sept. 2 at the school district offices on SE 256th Street. COURTESY PHOTO, Alex Popescu

A Kent Education Association teachers strike rally Sept. 2 at the school district offices on SE 256th Street. COURTESY PHOTO, Alex Popescu

Day 8 of Kent teachers’ strike: No school on Tuesday, Sept. 6

Still no contract agreement reached after Labor Day weekend negotiations

The teachers’ strike enters its eighth day on Tuesday, Sept. 6 after a weekend of negotiations between the Kent School District and the teachers’ union failed to reach a contract agreement.

“Kent School District (KSD) and the Kent Education Association (KEA) continued bargaining over the weekend,” according to a Sept. 5 district statement. “Unfortunately, an agreement has not been reached. Contracts and negotiations are highly complex matters and affect everyone both in the district and the greater Kent School District community.

“The bargaining teams are working to come to an agreement that is both sustainable and fiscally responsible to support our students, families, staff and KSD community. We are eager for school to begin and to see our students learning in classrooms.”

School has been out since Aug. 25 at the 42 schools and academies in the district that has nearly 24,000 students and 2,000 teachers.

The union’s primary goals are better pay, more mental health services for students and smaller class sizes and caseloads.

“We’re disappointed that we’re not quite there yet,” according to a Sept. 3 KEA statement. “We wish this weren’t the case. We wish it was such a great deal that we could call for a vote right away and go home to start getting ready for our first day of school. That’s where we all want to be.

“We’re trying to figure out how to help the district understand that our proposals are about making schools better for our students.

“We believe that — behind the frustration and hard feelings that sometimes come with negotiation — both sides share the goal of making sure each student gets individual attention and feels safe and supported in Kent schools.

“That’s why we’ve asked for more teachers, counselors, nurses and other staff in our schools. To make sure that no kid gets overlooked. To make sure there are enough people to help students when they need it.

“We think every kid deserves our A+ effort as a district.”

Free lunches

A group headed by mothers Jennifer Liggett Giampapa and Meg Heron continues to help provide free lunches to students. The group has lunches to be distributed at numerous schools on Tuesday, Sept. 6 (See list below). Community members and partners have funded the program that is not part of the Kent School District.

The group started the meals during the strike after it found out the district wouldn’t be providing free lunches.

The school district plans to have free meals for children starting Wednesday, Sept. 7, with details to be posted soon on the district’s website and social media accounts about times and locations, according to a district statement.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

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

Free lunch schedule for Kent students as provided by a community group not affiliated with the Kent School District. COURTESY IMAGE

Free lunch schedule for Kent students as provided by a community group not affiliated with the Kent School District. COURTESY IMAGE

More in News

Madeline Goldsmith. COURTESY PHOTO
No suspect yet in July 2023 Kent murder of Madeline Goldsmith

Someone fatally shot 18-year-old Kentwood High graduate as she sat in vehicle near Lake Meridian

Police bust mother, daughter in Kent for retail crime spree

Two reportedly joined one other woman in 3-state crime ring taking women’s clothing from Lululemon

Reith Road in Kent to get two new roundabouts this year

City Council approves $4.28 million bid; project to start in late May or early June

Puget Sound Fire’s Teddy Bear Clinic set for May 18 in Kent

Annual event provides free checkups for teddy bears and children

Overturned military vehicle causes I-5 backup near Kent, Federal Way

Wednesday, April 10 in northbound lanes near South 272nd Street

Kent Police Blotter: March 26 to April 7

Incidents include robberies, burglaries, shooting

State Patrol seek witnesses to I-5 hit-and-run crash in Kent

Collision at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 along northbound I-5 near State Route 516

Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent turns profit for 2nd consecutive year

City-owned facility brings in about $600,000 in 2023

Kent Police recovered nearly 800 catalytic converters in a 2021 bust. File photo
New state legislation fights catalytic converter theft

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on March 26 adding new regulations… Continue reading

Firefighting Diversity & Recruitment Workshop set for May 11 in Kent

Event designed to help potential candidates get jobs

Kentwood High grad’s legacy of love lives on through organ donation

Madeline Goldsmith one of 344 organ donors honored by Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia

Flowers, framed photos, plush toys and a QR code to the GoFundMe pages of the families grace the memorial site after the March 19 crash. Photo by Bailey Jo Josie/Sound Publishing.
Judge, lawyers debate low bail for Kent driver in fatal Renton crash

Judge explains reduction from $1 million to $100,000, which was posted by family of Chase Jones