Evergreen Public Schools remain closed due to a work stoppage. This is disruptive and frustrating for students, families and employees. Details regarding the negotiations are limited. Information from the district appears to be focused only on teacher pay while information from teachers suggests that it is about the lack of needed support for students in the classroom, most specifically paraeducators. They contend the only pay issue is the annual cost-of-living adjustment that is not being offered in years two and three of the contract. An annual cost-of-living adjustment is routine in private and public companies, governmental agencies and Social Security.
At this point I’m left wondering where the Evergreen school board is. If nothing else, the 93 percent of teachers who voted to strike should send a very clear message that there is a lack of trust with district leadership. Couple that with the fact that this district has had four different superintendents in the past eight years, two of whom were fired and paid large sums of money to leave. It is time for the Board of Directors to step up and set an expectation for the district to negotiate in good faith and get kids back to school.