Kent Teachers in the Kent Education Association (KEA) are officially on strike and are picketing as of Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, delaying the first day of school.

KEA members voted overwhelmingly on Monday night to go on strike if union leadership couldn’t come to an agreement with the Kent School District by Wednesday. Bargaining between teachers and the district broke down earlier in the spring.

Members are asking for increased mental health supports for students, lowering class-sizes and increasing overload supports, as well as competitive salaries to match neighboring districts and align with the state’s 5.5% living increase.

The Kent School District said that high school and middle school offices and the district central office will remain open.

In addition, families can continue to register their children through the district website.

The district is continuing high school sports programs, but all elementary and middle school activities are postponed until further notice. Meal service will resume when school begins.

“We are negotiating with our labor partners and remain committed to reaching an agreement and starting school as soon as possible,” the district added.