Teachers Union

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Seattle teachers are expected to reject the school district’s latest contract offer at its meeting Monday evening, but the superintendent suggests the district is ready to deal on some key sticking points.

ecastro / Flickr

Seattle Public Schools wants to add a half-hour to the school day for elementary students by as early as the next school year. But the district must first align a number of variables, including funding and union support.

Washington schools superintendent Randy Dorn is expected Tuesday to endorse a state takeover of K-12 employee health care. But the union that represents Washington teachers is prepared to defend its decades-long role as a provider of health insurance.

The teachers’ union calls it a taxpayer “rip off” and government “boondoggle.” Fiery language to describe a plan to put the state of Washington in the driver’s seat when it comes to K-12 employee health benefits.

Tacoma students will head back to school today, despite their teachers having no contract.

Teachers voted on whether to strike last night, but fell about 30 votes short of the majority needed to boycott the district, according to a letter sent to teachers by Andy Coons, president of the Tacoma Education Association.

The first day of school for Tacoma students is just a few days away, but their teachers might not show up.

They have yet to reach an agreement over their contract with the school district. That leaves many families worried that a strike could be on the horizon.

The State Senate has approved a controversial proposal to base teacher lay-offs on performance - not seniority. The vote late Tuesday triggered a heated debate on the Senate floor and split majority Democrats. Senator Rodney Tom is a suburban Seattle Democrat. He led the charge for performance-based lay-offs:

“Why in the world would you ever lay-off a second year or third year or fourth year teacher of the year in lieu of maybe an eight or ninth year teacher who is on probation? It just makes no sense.”

A proposal to base teacher layoffs on performance - and not seniority - has died in the Washington legislature. The bill's demise is a victory for the state’s teacher's union, but a frustrating defeat for some lawmakers. 

Currently, when school districts reduce staff newer more junior teachers typically lose their jobs first. A bipartisan proposal in the Washington legislature would have changed that.

Despite opposition from the local teachers' union and a lawsuit from parents and community groups, Teach for America has announced it will return to public schools in the Seattle area in the 2011-12 academic year.

A group of Seattle parents and community members has filed a lawsuit to stop Seattle Public Schools from bringing Teach for America to the city.