County schools teachers reach critical week

first_imgIt’s been a summer of debate between area school districts and their teacher unions. This week, those debates will turn to actions.Nearly every teachers union in Clark County has voted to strike unless pay raises are enacted by the opening day of school, most of which fall on either Tuesday or Wednesday.Unions and school districts across Washington are negotiating new salary schedules for teachers after the Legislature addressed the 2012 McCleary decision. Last year, the Legislature approved $7.3 billion in allocations to schools over four years, and this year added another nearly $1 billion for teacher salaries, meeting the Supreme Court’s order to fully fund basic education.In Southwest Washington, teachers are fighting for double-digit raises they say are long overdue. Districts are pushing back, saying they can’t afford to sustain pay scales at the level teachers want due to the state’s formula for funding schools.Unless the impasse is resolved, as many as 80,000 students in kindergarten through the 12th grade will take an extended summer vacation.So far, only Woodland schools have reached a contract with the teachers union.With the exception of La Center, where both sides have kept negotiations under wraps, here’s the latest on contract negotiations in Clark County districts:Evergreen Public SchoolsNegotiations between Clark County’s largest school district and the union will continue with the assistance of a state-appointed mediator.last_img read more