The agreement, which only dealt with salaries, came two weeks after Kent teachers voted to authorize a strike.
The Kent School District said schools will open as scheduled on Thursday, after it secured initial approval of the teachers union for a new contract.
The agreement “includes an important investment in the school district’s teaching staff,” the district said in a statement. It comes two weeks after the union voted to authorize a strike.
“The next two years will still be difficult as the District works to maintain their fiscal responsibility, but with these salaries, we hope to be able to continue to attract and retain quality educators!” the union wrote online before its general assembly meeting that took place Wednesday, when the agreement was approved by teachers.
District and union officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday, and no further details about the contract were available.
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During the 2017-18 school year, teachers in Kent earned between $46,463 and $87,575 depending on their experience and education level.
The deal comes amid widespread chaos as teachers’ unions and school districts across Washington state renegotiate their contracts. Contracts reopened for negotiation after state legislators redesigned school funding, giving school districts a nearly $1 billion windfall of cash this year, but confusing directions as to how it should be spent.
Teachers in four Clark County districts — Vancouver, Battle Ground, Hockinson and Ridgefield — went on strike this week, canceling the first days of classes, The Columbian reported.
Teachers in Tumwater, Thurston County, voted Monday to authorize a strike for the start of the school year on Sept. 5.
Seattle’s teachers union voted late Tuesday to authorize a strike if a deal isn’t reached before the first day of school on Sept. 5.
“We are back at the table today and having good conversation,” Seattle Education Association President Phyllis Campano said in an email on Wednesday. Teachers are in their schools preparing classrooms and lesson plans for the first day of school.
“We work under the current contract until we have a new one,” she added.
Times staff reporter Neal Morton contributed to this report.