As teacher contract bargaining continues, rally planned prior to Tuesday school board meeting

The Edmonds Education Association (EEA) and its supporters are planning to rally on Tuesday, Aug. 8 ahead of the Edmonds School Board meeting because its representatives say there has been little progress in bargaining agreements between educators and the district.

“Our issues of contention are issues that are important to our members,” EEA president Andi Nofziger said.

One of the biggest issues is closing the opportunity gap for students who struggle in school or who come from backgrounds of poverty or traumatic experiences, Nofziger said. Teachers need smaller class sizes and more classroom support to help these students, she added.

“We have some classrooms that are heavily impacted by barriers to learning, and those classrooms need more support,” she said.

That help can come from smaller class sizes for more individual attention with students, as well as additional support like time with counselors, nurses and psychologists.

“Our bargain is really around student success and closing the opportunity gap because our members want students in the Edmonds School District to be successful,” Nofziger said.

So far, the EEA and school district have had seven days of bargaining. Two more are scheduled for Aug. 14-15.

Edmonds School District spokeswoman Debbie Jakala declined comment, saying “We are still actively bargaining.”

Tuesday’s rally is expected to begin at 5:45 p.m. at the Edmonds School District administration building, 20420 68th Ave. W. A school board meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

“We hope they (the school board) see that the community is standing side by side with our educators in wanting a bargain that supports student success,” Nofziger said.

–By Natalie Covate

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