Mukilteo teachers approve new contract

Teachers on Wednesday approved a tentative three-year contract with the Mukilteo School District that pays special attention to special education classrooms.

Large class sizes have been a widespread concern among public schools in recent years with state funding cuts. Mukilteo also has faced enrollment growth, adding additional pressures.

“Until our district can pass a bond to build more classroom space, and until our state lives up to its paramount duty to fully fund public education, we are hampered in our ability to bargain more stringent language around class size,” said Dana M. Wiebe, president of the Mukilteo Education Association, in a statement.

Instead, the union struck a deal that adds more paraeducator support in special education classrooms as well as time for those teachers to complete federally required paperwork, Wiebe said.

The contract also raises salaries.

The current contract expires Saturday. School is set to begin Wednesday.

The tentative agreement will be on the board agenda on Sept. 9, district spokesman Andy Muntz said. “We are happy with the three-year agreement and we greatly appreciate the hard work of the staff members from both sides who were involved in the negotiations.”

Mukilteo district leaders have restricted out-of-district enrollment at several schools due to capacity issues. The district also declined extra state funding for all-day kindergarten at some schools because of a lack of space.

Voters could see a construction bond proposal as early as February, when renewal of the district’s regular maintenance and operations levy is slated to appear on ballots.

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