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Seattle Public Schools reaches tentative agreement with educators

The Seattle Education Association members will review the proposed contract and vote Tuesday on whether to lift the strike.

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools (SPS) reached a tentative agreement with educators on contract negotiations Monday.

The state's largest school district said the details of the tentative agreement are currently confidential, but Seattle Education Association (SEA) members will review the proposed contract and vote Tuesday on whether to lift the strike.

In a statement, SPS said they are excited to welcome students back for the school year and would provide an update on the start of school on Tuesday. Tuesday's classes were already canceled by the time both sides reached an agreement Monday.

Educators have been on strike since Sept. 7, which was supposed to be the first day of school for approximately 49,000 students in the district.

“We should all be proud of what we accomplished and what we stood up for: student supports and respect for educators,” the SEA said in a statement Monday.

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In addition to student supports, educators said they were negotiating for manageable workloads and competitive pay.

At Garfield High School, with the school band showing support, educators spent Monday on the picket line. Instructional Assistant Michael Wong said he was picketing because he sees so much is at stake for students.

"It means a non-equitable experience for them,” Wong said.

He said that will be the outcome if educators do not receive a fair contract, one that supports multilingual students.

Xochitl Sanchez works with Spanish-speaking students.

"We are starting from the bottom a little bit, and we are trying to get them caught up in classes with math and writing and reading,” Sanchez said.

"If we are not there, they do not know what is going on,” Wong said.

Wong said right now he makes about $19 an hour.

"I want to see a meaningful raise, meaning enough to make living in Seattle livable and affordable for educators,” Wong said.

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