Tacoma Public Schools canceled the first day of classes after negotiations between the school district and teachers union failed to produce a deal, prompting educators to strike. Classes were to start Thursday, but teachers instead carried protest signs, donned red and walked out, calling for higher pay.
On Tuesday, teachers voted to authorize a strike if no agreement could be reached by Wednesday.
A Tacoma Public Schools representative expressed an apology in a districtwide memo posted late Wednesday.
"We are sorry that this uncertainty so close to the start of school is stressful and creates a hardship for you and your families," the statement said. "The district negotiating team is working hard to reach a fair agreement with the Tacoma Education Association as quickly as possible."
Twelve of the district's schools, including eight middle schools and four elementary schools, will offer free meals. All athletic activities will continue, despite the class cancellations.