With strikes delaying the start of school in many districts, is it time for the governor to intervene?

The News Tribune editorial board surveys the scene and asks a pertinent question.

School strikes are raging all along the I-5 corridor. Scores of families, including 52,000 students in Tacoma and Puyallup, are dealing with child-care crises of unknown duration. While thousands of teachers wait for equitable pay, the state’s “paramount duty” to provide children an education is fractured…

Inslee’s well-known, deep support for (and from) teachers unions might keep him on the sidelines for now. But at what point should a governor use his bully pulpit to try to encourage, or even broker, an agreement between teachers and school administrators?

The editorial cites Gov. Chris Gregoire’s successful mediation during a Tacoma teacher’s strike in 2011 as a model and suggests gubernatorial intervention may be more necessary today.

One could argue that hands-on executive involvement is even more critical now; in 2011, Tacoma’s strike was a one-off affair, whereas today a brushfire of school shutdowns smolders from Clark County to Tumwater, from Pierce County to Tukwila.

The editorial rejects Sen. John Braun’s suggestion that Inslee seek a court injunction to end the illegal strikes, saying that would be “a recipe for ongoing antagonism,” and concludes,
We hope the governor is giving serious thought to how best to use his influence on behalf of tens of thousands of Washington families and teachers — and how long he should wait to wield it.
The paper also reports on the strikes in Tacoma and Puyallup.