Marysville School Board looks at schedule options

MARYSVILLE — About 70 percent of more than 1,000 Marysville residents prefer a school-year calendar option that closely matches the teachers union’s preference.

At the same time, most of the face-to-face comments the Marysville School Board received in community meetings this week indicated that many parents and even some teachers would also prefer adding 30 minutes or even an hour to the end of the school day. Doing so could shorten the school year by as much as two weeks, from mid-July to the end of June, board members said.

But while the scheduling issues offer some promise of workable compromise, pay issues and contract negotiations continued in the same fractious stalemate that led to the longest teachers strike in state history. The Marysville strike ended Oct. 22 after 49 days — the longest in the nation this year.

The Marysville School Board shot back Saturday at the teachers union, which complained Friday that teachers should have received supplemental pay from state funds, as well as district pay, for the eight days they worked in October.

Board members Ron Young, Erik Olson and Mark Johnson said the union had been informed well in advance that if the strike lingered beyond the district’s normal midmonth payroll deadline, then that month’s payment would be pushed to the end of the following month.

Olson, who is one of three incumbents on the board running for re-election, questioned the union’s timing, just days before Tuesday’s election.

"Personally, I think it was a cheap campaign stunt to further disparage the board and make their candidates look good," Olson said.

Union spokeswoman Elaine Hanson said the matter had nothing to do with the election. The issue was the school board violating a judge’s order that ended the strike.

"They did not follow orders following her order on the pay," Hanson said Saturday. "And it’s more examples of the board’s punitive and vindictive action and nature toward the teachers."

A mediation session for contract negotiations is set for Wednesday.

The Marysville School Board wrapped up the last of four community meetings Saturday to hear comments about how the district should schedule this year’s calendar to make up for the loss of almost two months.

The three board members at Saturday’s meeting said extending the school day would require a special exemption from state education officials or possibly the state Legislature.

They hoped to hear from state officials sometime this week.

Reporter Scott Morris: 425-339-3292 or

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