ONE YEAR LATER- Pasco Teacher Strike - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

ONE YEAR LATER- Pasco Teacher Strike

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These educators feel they are finally set up to succeed, "I have just seen a lot more people feeling like, we are on a fresh start. We are on a new journey together and it is really positive," Celski concluded. These educators feel they are finally set up to succeed, "I have just seen a lot more people feeling like, we are on a fresh start. We are on a new journey together and it is really positive," Celski concluded.

PASCO, WA- It has been about one year since Pasco teachers took to the picket lines with their union leaders in hopes to come to a new contract agreement. A big part of that debate was curriculum. Teachers shared materials they found online, coming up with their own way to prepare students for the years ahead.

NBC Right now checked in with union leaders and teachers as they prepare for the new school year, "What's really changed is that we now have a better understanding of the direction that we are going and an appreciation for the work that we are all doing," explained Matthew Polk, a lead negotiator for the Pasco Association of Educators.

Fast forward 365 days and things are a lot different within the district, "I think the new administration is doing a great job, they are very welcoming to us, we're talking. We are doing the process the way it is suppose to be. We go in and have issues, the district goes in and has issues and we come together and talk about those things. I think that has been the number one thing that I like is that we are actually talking," Greg Olson, the PAE President said.

Last year, the streets filled with red shirts and signs for 9 would-be school days. Teachers told NBC Right Now they were fighting for the kids in the classroom, while the district insisted they wanted to work with the teachers. 

"I am most excited to have all the materials I need ready to go and to have a clear focus. I know that my fellow teachers have the same focus in other buildings. We have the same end in mind and the same beginning, and all the stuff in the middle," said Tabitha Celski, a 1st grade Pasco teacher.

"Many students have holes or gaps. We are trying to fill those gaps as well, but we really need to work with the general education teachers so that we can make sure they are successful on state testing," Marie Feryn, a special education teacher, pointed out.

It eventually took a state mediator and persistence last year to agree on bringing in curriculum, reducing class sizes and testing as well as a bump in pay to try and meet averages across the state.

"We spent ten days in July of this year coming together and looking up our standards and prioritizing which standards need to be covered during which parts of the year," said Maria Lee, a 5th grade teacher in Pasco.

These educators feel they are finally set up to succeed, "I have just seen a lot more people feeling like, we are on a fresh start. We are on a new journey together and it is really positive," Celski concluded.
 

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