DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton School Board will meet with the Dayton Education Foundation on Thursday morning.
It will be the first meeting since the DEA filed a 10-day strike notice.
Both sides will meet with a mediator to try and reach terms on a new contract. Thursday’s meeting is the first of three mediation sessions planned in the next week.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley warns a strike could have a major impact on the city.
The sidewalks outside DPS headquarters are empty and bare now, but soon could be filled with hundreds of teachers picketing if neither side can reach a deal. Mayor Nan Whaley is vowing not to take a side, but she is taking a stand, calling for both sides to find common ground because if they don’t, she says a strike could have a major impact on the city and it’s future.
In 8 more days, we’ll know for sure if DPS teachers will be teaching or picketing. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is worried of the impact a strike could have on the city.
“There are a lot of other schools besides Dayton Public Schools,” Mayor Whaley said. “And so I think it
would detrimentally effect the district is they went to strike.”
Other districts are already scooping up DPS teachers. The Dayton Education Association argues DPS doesn’t pay the same as other districts and therefore is losing qualified teachers to districts like Kettering and Centerville.
They also want school counselors in every elementary and middle school, not just the high schools. They argue library media centers should open regularly. Some remain closed because there’s not enough staff to operate them.
“We want to have strong schools,” Mayor Whaley said. “It’s really important for the future of the city.”
Without strong schools, attracting new residents and businesses to the city could be difficult.
“The stakes are very high for the future of Dayton,” Mayor Whaley said. “And certainly having qualified teachers in Dayton Public Schools is a big deal.”
Right now, DPS says they’re losing roughly 200 students per year and roughly 3,000 students in the last decade. This year alone they lost more than 500 students which resulted in a loss of more than $3.2 million from the general fund.
“It will continue to get smaller if they don’t start the school with teachers and,” Mayor Whaley said. “So really the confidence that citizens of Dayton will have on making sure that we start school on time with Dayton teachers.”
The DPS board and the DEA have already met more than 25 times in attempts to reach a new contract.
In order to start school on time with Dayton Teachers, both sides must reach an agreement by August 10th. If no deal is reached in the next three mediation sessions, teachers could strike on August 11th.
The first day of schools for DPS is August 15th.