Walkouts in Four States Affect 67,000 Students
Undated (AP) _ Teachers walked out of classes in one Illinois district Thursday and back into schools in two Pennsylvania towns as labor disputes continued to disrupt the routine for some 67,000 students in four states.
In Marietta, Ohio, teachers decided to take to the airwaves to explain their 5-week-old strike.
In Michigan, negotiators representing teachers and the Dansville School District were scheduled to negotiate this weekend in an effort to settle an 11-day old walkout that has idled 975 students.
In Detroit, meanwhile, 1,500 striking clerical workers voted Thursday on an offer from the Detroit Public Schools. Union leaders predicted rejection.
The state’s largest school district has continued to operate since the strike began Sept. 12.
About 240 Mattoon, Ill., teachers struck Thursday in a dispute over money, ending classes for 4,100 students. Superintendent Walt Warfield said no negotiations are scheduled.
It was one of six Illinois towns struck. In all, almost 28,000 students have been kept away from classes.
The largest strike is in Decatur, where a 14-day walkout idled 14,130 youngsters. Negotiations there resumed Wednesday.
″We are getting down to the last few issues,″ said Superintendent Robert Oakes. ″It’s basically money and makeup dates.″
The number of teacher strikes in Pennsylvania shrank to five as teachers in districts in Berks and Crawford counties returned to their classrooms Thursday. The strikes affect 32,000 students.
In the Wilson School District, teachers and school administrators reached an agreement on a new three-year contract.
Teachers who walked out in the Penncrest Area School District three weeks ago returned to work pending fact-finding.
In Ohio, a negotiating session between teachers and Columbiana officials ended early Thursday, with teacher representatives saying only minor issues had been resolved.
No new talks were set in the strike in the 1,100-pupil district.
In Marietta, teachers abandoned plans for a public forum to explain their 5-week-old strike, choosing instead to buy 30 minutes of air time Monday on a local cable channel.
The strike, which began Sept. 3, affects 4,200 students.
Marietta schools have been closed since Monday under an order by the Ohio Department of Education, which determined the schools were not meeting minimum state education standards. The state is evaluating the Columbiana schools to determine whether they should remain open.