The Latest: City Council supports strike; no classes Tuesday

AP News
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Posted: Sep 14, 2015 7:50 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — The latest on the strike by public-school teachers in Seattle entering its fourth day Monday (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

The Seattle City Council has unanimously passed a resolution supporting teachers who are on strike and asking the city school district to negotiate in good faith with the union to bring an end to the walkout.

That happened shortly before school district officials announced that classes are canceled for a fifth day Tuesday.

The council leans left in the city well known for embracing progressive causes. At a council meeting Monday afternoon, Socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who sponsored the resolution, says a victory for the union would be "a victory for education across the country."

She says it shows that "if we organize and remain united, we can resist attacks on public education."

Meanwhile, a Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman told a news conference that district bargainers are expected to respond Monday to the latest idea presented by the Seattle Education Association.

The spokeswoman, Stacy Howard, says even if a tentative agreement is reached, it may take some time to get school started because of logistics such as ordering food.

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2:45 p.m.

Parents say they're finding ways to make child care work as the Seattle teachers' strike entered its fourth day Monday.

Nathan Dipietro brought his first-grade son, Augustine, to one of the city's community centers, which expanded its capacity for free day care this week.

"As long as they keep this going, it's OK," Dipietro said of Miller Community Center's "strike camp." He cobbled together care last week, including working from home one day.

The strike, over issues that include pay raises, has delayed the start of the school year for about 53,000 students. Many teachers in Washington state's largest district say a lack of cost-of-living raises has made it difficult to afford to live in Seattle, where expenses have been rising.

Mark Oberlander, who dropped off his first-grade son at a Boys & Girls Club, says the strike is inconvenient but he supports the teachers.

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9:20 a.m.

Seattle's community centers are doubling as free day-care facilities as a strike by the city's teachers enters its second week and has parents scrambling for child-care options.

Seattle Parks and Recreation spokesman David Takami said Monday that 21 community centers are taking care of some 2,000 children in kindergarten through sixth grade, and that number is rising. Many of the centers are at capacity. It's costing the city about $21,000 a day.

Jason Busbee, a front-desk coordinator at the Queen Anne Community Center, says it was "an early morning mad dash" as parents dropped off their kids, and several families had to be turned away.

He says volunteers are overseeing activities for the 150 children there, including basketball, foosball and lawn darts. The center had also ordered some big bouncy houses to entertain the kids.


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