As strike looms, DPS and DEA return to bargaining table

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

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Public Schools is revealing what both sides are asking for as a teacher strike is up in the air. In less than 24 hours, the school board and teachers will meet one last time to try and reach a deal.

Superintendent Rhonda Corr took questions Tuesday at a public forum about the looming strike, explaining DPS is strapped for cash, making it impossible for them to meet some of the teachers’ financial demands.

“We have given all that we can give,” Corr said. “We have been fair to our teachers. We respect our teachers. We have listened to everyone.”

Teachers are asking for competitive pay, comparable to districts like Kettering and Centerville. They also want school counselors in every school, not just the high school, and argue library media centers in all schools should be open daily. Superintendent Corr is hopeful Wednesday they can talk it out.

“I hope we have time to talk things through,” Corr said. “It’s a lot easier than shuffling papers and I think there’s more of the heart involved because we want to do what’s right by our teachers and our kids.”

Some parents say they’re not sending their kids to school if teachers strike, despite the district’s plan to hire 600 substitute teachers.

“Attendance will be taken,” Corr said. “Schools will be open. A re we coming after parents that are truant? No.”

If teachers can’t strike a deal Wednesday, teachers will be on the picket line come Friday morning. Corr is hopeful that doesn’t happen.

“We don’t have much time left,” Corr said. “We are sincere about resolving this and we need both parties to sit down and have an honest conversation about where we can give and where we can’t give and be open to doing what’s best for our kids in Dayton.”

If an agreement is not reached tomorrow, teachers say they’re prepared to go on strike. the first day of school for d-p-s is the 15th.

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