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September 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Snoqualmie Valley teachers reach tentative agreement with school

Snoqualmie Valley School District teachers reached a tentative contract agreement with the district Sunday, likely averting a strike that would have left classrooms empty.

After the 3 p.m. deadline passed, the Snoqualmie district proposed another offer late in the afternoon for the union negotiating team to review. Teachers will gather to ratify the three-year contract tonight at Mount Si High School, said Dale Folkerts, union spokesman. Part of the contract gives teachers 2 percent raises each year.

Negotiations began in April and the teachers’ contract expired Aug. 31 without a new deal. The union represents 353 teachers in the Snoqualmie district, which serves about 6,200 students from Fall City, North Bend and Snoqualmie.

The union says the big issue is class size in the district’s five elementary schools. Teachers want limits on the number of students per class, not just extra money for teachers who are assigned classes that exceed target enrollments.

On its website, the district says it has set boundaries for class sizes in elementary schools, although the limits are listed¬†as “targets.” For example, a kindergarten class would have a target enrollment of 25 or fewer students. If the district added more students, the teacher would receive $600 or a planning day each trimester.

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