Seattle Public Schools

Tom Jackson

At 6:55 a.m. last Friday, wearing a red backpack and holding an apple fritter, 11-year-old Arlo Jackson trudged out the door to Mercer Middle School.

"The cold air kinda wakes you up," Arlo said as he walked to his first stop, his friend Nico Binuya’s house. After Nico got a kiss from his mom, the two friends were on their way, chatting about “school, sports and, like, girls.”

Candidate Websites

Seattle school board candidate Suzanne Dale Estey and her supporters are poised to raise more money than any other school board candidate in state history – even though a Washington state law passed last year put a cap on campaign contributions in school board races.

Candidate Websites

One of the hottest races on Seattle’s fall ballot isn't for mayor or city council, but a seat on the Seattle School Board.

Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf

Eleven students have been suspended from Garfield High School while the district investigates their roles in a September 27 hazing incident.

It’s been one week since the first day of school, and to say that the start was rocky would be an understatement. A highly contested teacher contract debate had parents worried whether schools would even begin on time last Wednesday. When school did open, software problems caused confusion all over the Seattle district. With all this news, it promises to be an exciting year. Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle Superintendent José Banda about the first week and what’s on tap for the school year.

Washington Education Association/Rich Wood

UPDATE: 9/4/13, 10:31 a.m. PT

About 1,800 teachers cast their votes in the Seattle Education Association general membership meeting at Benaroya Hall. Members voted first by voice, then by standing to clarify the count. One member moved to call for a ballot count, but there wasn't enough support from fellow members. Teachers present estimated that at least 60 percent of the votes were in favor of the contract.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

Seattle School District and its teachers' union have reached a tentative agreement on a new, two-year contract.

The district and Seattle Education Association (SEA) bargained for more than 12 hours Saturday. The deal was finalized early Sunday morning.

The district and union are waiting to publicly release details of the contract until SEA has been able to relay the offer to teachers. 

Last-minute sticking points involved teacher pay, work hours and using student test scores in teacher evaluations.

Seattle teachers will vote on the contract Tuesday evening. 

School is scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Seattle Education Association's Facebook page.

Correction 8/27/13: In a previous version, the length of the district's contract offer was stated as three years. The current offer is for a two-year contract. The length of the contract is negotiable.

Seattle's teachers' union voted down the school district's two-year contract offer Monday night at Seattle Education Association's general membership meeting at Benaroya Hall.

Reporters were not allowed inside the meeting, but teachers said that the voice vote was nearly unanimous, with only several teachers of the hundreds present supporting the contract offer.

Photo of school buses parked in a parking lot.
Flickr Photo/tncountryfan

UPDATE: 8/24/13, 9:41 a.m. PT

In a letter to the community Friday evening, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda outlined key elements of the district's latest contract offer, including a four percent pay increase over two years, hiring extra support staff including school psychologists, nurses, speech pathologists, and occupational and physical therapists, and improvements to the special education delivery model.

KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

School doesn't start for two weeks, but it was standing room only at the Seattle School Board meeting Wednesday night as hundreds of community members turned out for a host of issues they want settled before school begins.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

Tension is building during contract talks between Seattle School District and its teachers’ union.

The two sides need to agree on a new, three-year contract before school begins in less than a month.

Flickr Photo/sidewalk flying (CC BY-NC-ND)

Class size appears to be the main sticking point between Seattle School District and its teachers’ union as they bargain a new, three-year contract before school is scheduled to start next month.

Seattle Education Association President Jonathan Knapp says the district’s latest proposal, made last week, would increase class sizes in Seattle by two students per class in grades four through twelve.

From Washington State Department of Ecology site.

According to a letter KUOW has obtained from Seattle Public Schools to the Washington State Auditor’s Office, the district faces $29 million in claims and settlement demands from current or former students who say they were sexually abused by a teacher or fellow student.

Suzanne Dale Estey

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Suzanne Dale Estey

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Economic development consultant

Website: http://suzanne4schools.com

Top priorities:

  • Keep district focused on student outcomes.
  • Secure and maintain adequate levy and state funding.
  • Stabilize district leadership.

Dean McColgan

Jul 15, 2013
Courtesy Dean McColgan

Candidate for Seattle School District 4: Ballard, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Belltown

Occupation: Director of development at the Museum of Flight, former City Council member and mayor of Federal Way

Website: http://www.deanforseattleschools.org/

Top priorities:

  • Re-instill community trust in the school district.
  • Emphasize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education.
  • Allow teachers to innovate.

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