Washington state strikes delay school for 75,000 students

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The school year has been delayed for more than 75,000 students in southwestern Washington state this week after teachers and districts failed to reach contract agreements over teacher salaries.

Teachers in at least seven school districts picketed Wednesday.

Teachers in Seattle and other cities have authorized strikes if they don’t reach salary agreements by the time school starts either this week or next.

Teachers in nearly all of the state’s 295 school districts opened contract negotiations after the Legislature in March approved an additional $1 billion for educator salaries for the upcoming school year.

The state had been under a court order to fully fund K-12 schools.

Teachers in the communities of Vancouver, Longview, Battle Ground and Ridgefield are among those on strike.