Seattle teachers ready to hit picket lines

SEATTLE - Dozens of Seattle teachers started stapling together picket signs Wednesday after rejecting the district's latest contract offer Monday.

According to the Seattle Education Association, the teachers are ready to hit picket lines to "highlight the Seattle School Board's refusal to offer a fair contract settlement."

Seattle teachers will picket at four locations from 3-6 p.m. Thursday afternoon. The locations are Rainier Ave and MLK, 35th and Fauntleroy, Market and 15th in Ballard, and outside Northgate Mall.

The main sticking point, teachers say, is using test scores to help evaluate teacher performance.

In response, the school district claims teachers would not be punished if their students get low test scores.

When parents were asked how they feel about teachers striking, they say they're tired of teachers threatening to strike right before school begins. Others say teachers deserve whatever they ask for.

"If we have to struggle a little bit, and as a result of that they get paid better - that's okay with me," parent Juliana Pope says.

A phone message left by the district on Tuesday urging Seattle parents to find childcare has parents concerned.

"Childcare is an issue, and the childcare situation in Ballard is dire. There's not really enough," Nicole Little says.

The school district is looking into alternative places for students to go just in case, like community centers or parks.

The union will vote on another contract offer on September 3, just one day before school is set to start.

Both Mayor McGinn and Governor Inslee say they are watching the situation very closely.