Seattle teachers union, district still haven't reached agreement over returning to classroom

With less than a few days before about 1,000 students are expected to be back into classrooms in Seattle Public Schools, the district and the teacher’s union still can’t reach an agreement on how to make things work.

Monday, hundreds of teachers were supposed to return to school for training. The training is in preparation for the district’s plan to welcome back about 1,000 preschoolers and special education intensive service pathways students.

But the teacher’s union voted to stay remote, and no agreement was reached by Sunday night between the district and the union on how to move forward.

The district says even if teachers choose not to come back, children are expected to return to school.

RELATED: Seattle teachers vote 'no confidence' in superintendent, opt to stay out of classrooms

Central office education professionals will fill the role left vacant by the hundreds of teachers in the classrooms, said Tim Robinson with Seattle Public Schools.

The fill-ins may not all be certified teachers, but they are all education professionals.

Teachers say they are not comfortable returning until there are set plans for addressing three key areas: health and safety, equity and informed consent.

RELATED: Renton teachers will return to the classroom after district agrees to more Covid safety measures

Health and safety focuses on school day policies and practices, which teachers say have not been clearly outlined.

Equity focuses on providing opportunity for families who still want to stay remote.

Informed consent focuses on creating transparency between families and the districts if and when any issues arise regarding COVID-19.

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