UPDATE: Tacoma teachers reached a tentative agreement Thursday night. School is scheduled to start Monday, pending a vote from the Tacoma Education Association.
Saturday school isn't out of the question for Tacoma students who may have to make up the days they've missed due to the ongoing teacher strike.
According to Dan Voelpel, executive director of communications for Tacoma Public Schools, it is an option that "would be considered." However, no decisions have been made as teachers continue to strike.
In 2011, high school seniors had to attend Saturday school because of an eight-day strike over class sizes and proposed pay cuts. That strike ended after former Gov. Christine Gregoire stepped in and sat district officials and union leaders down for an extended bargaining session as approximately 28,000 students waited to return to school.
Tacoma teachers have been on strike since Wednesday night. Members of the Tacoma Education Association voted to strike after contract talks failed before the first day of school Thursday. Contract negotiations stem from a legislative fix to the McCleary decision, where the state Supreme Court ruled Washington was not adequately funding education. The fix included $2 billion for teacher salaries in the current budget.
The first day of school for nearly 30,000 Tacoma students was scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 6.
The school district asked the union to enter a binding arbitration process Monday where both parties present their case to a neutral third party and must adhere to the arbitrator’s decision. However, the union declined.