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

t
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

t
King County residential property values rise 12.4% in SE Kent

King County Assessor John Wilson begins to release 2024 numbers

t
Three 11-year-old girls in Kent help stop kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man reportedly grabbed girl in apartment complex parking lot on East Hill

t
Kent Police seek male teen driver in fatal hit-and-run on East Hill | Update

Teen reportedly driving stolen vehicle and fleeing police during Saturday, July 13 incident; victim identified

t
13-year-old boy fatally shot in Kent on East Hill near Turnkey Park | Update

Boy found shot near apartment complex Tuesday night, July 16 identified by medical examiner

t
Kent School Board votes 3-1 to send levy to voters in November

Capital projects and technology levy reduced from $192 million to $97 million after previous failures

t
Kiwanis clubs to place painted rocks at downtown Kent parks

Purpose is to ‘spread joy and positivity’