Yesterday should have been the first day of school across Seattle, Washington. Instead, the kids are staying home, and the 5,000 teachers and other public school workers of Seattle are refusingĀ to work until the state allocates more money for pay raises (which haven't happened in six years) and increased "instructional time," theĀ Seattle TimesĀ reports. And the state isn't laying down easily:

Seattle teachers are on strike Wednesday, the first time in 30ā€‰years they have walked out over stalled contract negotiations with the cityā€™s school district.

And just minutes after the Seattle Education Association bargaining team made its announcement Tuesday evening, the Seattle School Board voted to authorize the superintendent to seek legal action to try to force teachers and other school employees back to work.

School was canceled again today, and it doesn't sound like a resolution is arriving anytime soon: the Seattle TimesĀ reports the district is claiming there just isn't enough money to fulfillĀ the educators' demands.

Washington state public schools are already inĀ financial turmoil as the result of a recent Supreme Court ruling. Via theĀ New York Times:

Washington Stateā€™s highest court declared last week that much of the law underpinning the newĀ charter school system around the state was unconstitutional. The court set a 20-day clock, at which time the charter system could be dismantledā€”a step that legal experts said no other state court had ever taken. The State Supreme Court, the panel that struck down the charter law, last month began assessing $100,000 a day in fines on the state until the Legislature comes up with a plan to better fund the system as a whole.


Because Washington state doesn't have a statewide income tax, the state's been scrambling to find an alternative way to fund public education. Perhaps the strike will provide that impetus.

Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.