PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — School is canceled for Ridgefield students again Tuesday as teachers carry on with their strike.
Picketing started on Friday, which prompted school closures across seven schools in the Ridgefield School District. Classes were canceled Monday as contract talks were in progress and although negotiations continue until 7 p.m., district officials made the call to cancel school for Tuesday around 5 p.m.
The Ridgefield Education Association, representing about 200 teachers and staff, says the union wants additional funding for mental health support and special education for students. Educators also cited concerns regarding the lack of staff and crowded classes.
In a press release, REA claims that while progress towards an agreement has been made, the school district refuses to provide additional funding for mental health support, special education improvements and a “better program” for student interventions.
REA and district officials met twice last week in an effort to reach a bargaining agreement, but both attempts were unsuccessful.
The REA executive board voted on Sept. 5 to begin a strike if they failed to reach an agreement by Friday.
The district officials announced schools will be closed until further notice. School sports, however, will continue because coaches are under different contracts. But lost days of school will need to be made up before the end of the school year.
The Ridgefield School District posted their most recent offer on their website for a 3-year deal that would go through August 31, 2025. Among the highlights: All employees would get a 7.5% raise in the first year, a 4.5% raise in the second year and 3% in the last year of the deal.
Meanwhile, it’s a similar story for Seattle Public Schools. Negotiations between the district and the teacher’s union failed to come to an agreement over the weekend.