Arlington teachers reach tentative agreement

ARLINGTON — The teachers union here has reached a tentative agreement with the Arlington School District, likely preventing a strike.

The agreement was reached Monday, two days before the start of the new school year.

Arlington Education Association members were scheduled to vote on the employment package Tuesday evening, association President Jason Klein said. Last week, they voted to authorize a strike if an agreement wasn’t reached, but continued preparing for the first day of school. Klein said he believed a contract could be ironed out so classes would start on time. The association’s focus was competitive pay and smaller class sizes, he said.

Negotiations between the district and the association spilled from August into September, after other local teachers had settled their contracts.

“Both teams worked diligently to reach this agreement today,” Arlington Superintendent Chrys Sweeting said Monday in a written statement. “We are excited for the new school year to start.”

Around Snohomish County, students are set to head back to school Wednesday. Some start dates are staggered throughout this week for different aged students, with programs such as Link Crew bringing high school freshmen to campus a day earlier than upperclassmen for welcome activities. In the Lakewood School District, high school students are going back to class in a new building.

Many kindergarten and preschool students in local schools don’t start until Monday.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

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