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Breaking: DCPS teachers ratify contract

This just in from colleague Bill Turque over at the D.C. Schools Insider blog:

"Just got word that the contract passed. Exact vote not yet available, but a WTU spokeswoman says it was roughly 1,400 to 400. Union president George Parker has scheduled a 3:00 presser."

WAMU-FM reports the precise tally as 1,412 to 425.

The contract will now go to the D.C. Council for approval, where it will run into the maw of election-year politics. But woe to the politico who stands between a teacher and a 20 percent raise.

UPDATE, 1:30 P.M.: Statement from WTU's Parker:

"After two and a half years of negotiations, I am extremely pleased that our members have voted 'Yes' on an agreement that will provide teachers with the tools and resources so that all children in DC Public Schools will have a quality education....I would like to thank our teachers for letting their collective voice be heard by voting in support of a contract that is good for kids and fair to teachers. The Washington Teachers' Union is committed to continuing our efforts to ensure that teachers are provided with the tools, resources and respect they need to improve education in DC Public Schools. It is now up to the DC City Council to approve the compensation so the real work can begin."

UPDATE, 3:55 P.M.: Statement from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers:

"This agreement lays a strong foundation for improved teaching and learning in D.C. public schools. It is now up to DCPS and the WTU to take the words of the agreement and make it a reality. The conversation between the WTU and DCPS can't end when the ink is dry on the contract. We hope and expect there will be continual communication, cooperation and growing trust between labor and management. If that can happen, it will be a great day for the District of Columbia."

UPDATE, 4:30 P.M.: Council Chairman Vincent Gray says he will not stand in the way of the contract's approval: "Today's vote has been almost three years in the making and I believe it's high time we seal the deal. Therefore, I will urge my colleagues on the Council to follow the teachers' lead and give final approval as soon as possible."

By Mike DeBonis  |  June 2, 2010; 12:55 PM ET
Categories:  Schools , The District  
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