Teachers, parents, students picket in Kelso as strike begins

KELSO, Wash. (AP) — Parents and students are joining picket lines in Kelso as teachers there go on strike.

The Kelso Education Association began the strike Wednesday after last-minute talks with Kelso School District officials over pay and other issues failed.

District officials say no access to schools will be provided until the strike ends, although school sports practices and events will take place.

Kelso teachers voted Monday to go on strike if they didn't have a contract. They have been working without a contract since June 30.

Kelso School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich said in a letter to parents that the district's focus is geared toward a quick end to the strike and that it has already offered a proposal that would bring pay in line with what teachers receive in nearby Longview.