District wants Wash. teachers ordered back to work

By the Associated Press | September 14, 2011 | 1:50 PM EDT

Striking teachers picket outside Wilson High School next to a sign announcing an upcoming back-to-school night, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, in Tacoma, Wash. School was closed for 28,000 students Tuesday after teachers in Washington state's third-largest school district voted to strike Monday night. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — An attorney for Washington state's third-largest school district says strikes by teachers have been considered illegal by 19 different state courts since 1976 and so should the one by Tacoma instructors.

The district is asking a Superior Court judge on Wednesday for an injunction ordering the teachers back to work as the strike enters its second day.

Hundreds of teachers began picketing in front of Tacoma's major high schools Tuesday after contract negotiations broke down over the weekend. The strike has kept 28,000 students home.

Union lawyer Tyler Firkins says legal action now would get the court involved in the bargaining process.

Strike issues include teacher pay, class size and the way teachers are transferred and reassigned. Tacoma teachers had been working without a contract since school started Sept. 1.