SALEM, Ore. — The tally of votes as of Friday showed 94% of the 2, 300 educators in Oregon’s second largest school district voted in favor of a strike, but there’s still time to avoid a walkout, and as Superintendent Andrea Castanedas urges, “Do everything in your power to avoid a strike. And this is exactly what we’ve done. We’ve skipped the damaging back and forth. And in one move, we offered all we could, over $37 million in new compensation for our licensed staff.”

She points out that Salem Keizer schools are tens of millions of dollars short.

“When we shared that offer, we were clear. We said, this is all we can do. Anything more will do lasting harm to our schools. That 37 million offer was rejected.”

Today another round of negotiations is scheduled. A strike could close down the schools for 40,000 students as soon as April. At the same time and for the third year in a row, Evergreen Public Schools are also facing another round of budget cuts. That school district has proposed two plans, trimming down just under $20 million from the 20 24 25 school year budget.

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