Dayton teachers protest convocation

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Public Schools are gearing up for a new school year.

Teachers gathered at University of Dayton Arena Tuesday morning for a convocation, but not all was well.

Dayton Public Schools convocation. (WDTN Photo/Beairshelle Edmé)
Dayton Public Schools convocation. (WDTN Photo/Beairshelle Edmé)

Teachers’ union members showed their solidarity in contract talks by wearing red and protesting before the meeting.

Many wore buttons that read “Dayton Teachers. We’re worth more”.

The annual convocation has traditionally been a day used by the Dayton Superintendent to excite teachers, but instead Tuesday was frustrated educators that showed up.

“Your teachers in Dayton public schools give many countless hours of themselves,away from their families, and money out of their pockets to makes sure that the children are learning, growing and being lively, productive citizens in the Dayton community and as teachers, we deserve the compensation and more to help us help those students,” said Sandra Gavin, the negotiations chair with the Dayton Education Association (DEA).

Gavin told 2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé that DEA representatives are stuck mediation.

Her hope is to find a mutual solution that will pay teachers for their worth.

Superintendent Lori L. Ward, meanwhile, is focusing on changes and challenges for the district, including using the common core.

2 NEWS asked her about the current situation with the DEA to which she said, “Well we don’t negotiate in public, and so you’ll really have to interview a teacher.”

But Ward was clear about the focus for this school year.

“We have seen improvement in our reading scores. We have seen improvement in our math scores. No where— where we need to be. But, we have one instructional purpose this year in Dayton public schools and that is writing in all subject areas,” she said.

In her speech the Superintendent did highlight the important role teachers play.

Keynote speaker and Meadowdale High School senior, Allison Mayfield-Brown.also stressed that same point.

“They have been a very, very, very important to my success. I attribute a lot of it to them,” said the rising senior, headed to the Ohio State University upon graduation.

Mayfield-Brown’s words was something the union and teachers have taken note of over the years.

In fact, many teachers said they’ve been proud to hear those same sentiments from students over the years.

Given that fact and many other factors, the union and its members now want the district to acknowledge teacher’s worth with more pay.

Union leaders hope to reach a decision and solution to the contractual negotiations, as they head back to the chalkboards next Monday.

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