Teaching Profession

A Kerfuffle in Seattle Over Reduced Teaching Days

By Stephen Sawchuk — May 11, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

If you think the federal stimulus package is going to be a cure-all for the thorny issues of staffing flexibility, you need look no further than Seattle to see that’s probably a pipe dream.

According to the story in the link above, Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson sent a letter saying that teachers’ contracts wouldn’t be renewed unless they agreed to one fewer paid staff-development day. The district apparently doesn’t have the money to cover it anymore.

The local union says the letter amounts to firing all 3,300 teachers in the district and is pushing back. It argues that such changes need to be approved through the collective bargaining agreement.

I’m not that familiar with the Seattle contract, and elements such as paid staff training are sometimes set by states and sometimes by contracts. But as some experts, like Marguerite Roza of the Center on Reinventing Public Education have noted, contracts generally include language allowing parties to reopen bargaining in times of financial strain.

I haven’t heard any instances of that occurring, but it will be interesting if Goodloe-Johnson tries to go that route here.

Have you heard of any districts reopening bargaining? If you have, why not hit the comment button and let us know?

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Opinion ‘A Culture of Care’: How Schools Can Alleviate Educator Stress This Year
It takes more than deep breathing to alleviate the stress teachers feel. Here's how to get to the root cause.
Sean Slade & Alyssa Gallagher
6 min read
shutterstock 740616958 resized
Teaching Profession Reported Essay Students Aren’t the Only Ones Grieving
Faced with so many losses stemming from the pandemic, what can be done to help teachers manage their own grief?
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read