District 300, Teachers Reach Tentative Agreement

Teacher strike that kept more more than 20,000 students out of class and after-school activities will last just one day

By BJ Lutz and Dick Johnson
|  Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012  |  Updated 10:37 PM CDT
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Officials say the fact that a federal mediator wasn't a part of talks may have worked in their favor. Rob Elgas reports.

Officials say the fact that a federal mediator wasn't a part of talks may have worked in their favor. Rob Elgas reports.

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District 300 Teachers Prep for Strike

Salary and class sizes remain the sticking points for the massive school district that covers nearly 21,000 students in four counties. Dick Johnson reports.
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A teacher strike that kept more more than 20,000 students out of class and after-school activities will last just one day.

Community Unit School District 300 and union officials announced Tuesday evening they'd reached a tentative agreement for a new three-year contract.

Classes will resume Wednesday.

"We believe the agreement that was reached is fair to the teachers and responsible to the taxpayers of the community," the district said in a statement.

Details of the proposal were not publicly released Tuesday night so the union, the Local Education Association of District 300, could update its members.

Teachers voted Monday afternoon to strike after 11 months of negotiations failed to end with a new contract. The last contract expired July 1, and class sizes and salaries were the final sticking points.

"It's pretty daunting. It's something that we kept talking about but I never really thought would happen," fourth-grade teacher Ann Hottoby said Monday night as she helped prepare picket signs. "We need a better learning environment for our students. Three years ago -- over three years ago -- I had 23 students in my room. The next year I had 37."

Three middle schools remained opened Tuesday as emergency attendance centers for students in kindergarten to grade six who had no other place to go.

The massive district, which covers 118 square miles and 15 communities in four counties, hadn't had a teacher strike in three decades.

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