Seattle teachers reject memorandum of understanding, meaning start of school could be delayed

The Seattle Education Association — the union that represents around 6,000 employees of Seattle Public Schools — rejected a proposed memorandum of understanding by the district Sunday that would have guaranteed an on-time start to school while allowing ongoing contract negotiations to continue.

The district made the announcement in a letter to parents and families on Sunday.

The move means it is likely there will be a delay to the start of school in Seattle, which was scheduled for this coming Wednesday.

“We understand this uncertainty about a delay is difficult and unsettling for our students, staff, and families,” the district said in the letter. “We hope that SEA will reconsider this MOU and sign it before Tuesday.”

SEA president Jennifer Matter issued a statement in response, saying in part, “Our students’ needs are greater than I’ve seen in my career, yet the SPS wants to pursue a distraction rather than an agreement to improve student supports. … We call on SPS to stop the distractions and instead match our urgency to get to a tentative agreement that better serves our students. "

The district said that it is working on a plan to provide pick-up meals for students in the event that school is delayed. It’s also coordinating with community child care providers to help support parents.

The district said it will inform families by Tuesday on what the official status is for school on Wednesday.