Teaching assistants prepare for strike


DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Teaching assistants are about to leave their classrooms and hit the picket line.

Monday was the last day for the Decatur School Board and teaching assistant union to reach a deal on a fair contract.

Now, teaching assistants in Decatur will strike Tuesday morning. People in Decatur are already feeling the shock waves of it.

TAs, like Stephanie Peck, hoped it wouldn’t come to this.

“It’s a sad feeling,” said Peck, “but I feel like we also are prepared, we are ready, we are together, we are strong, and we are not going to back down.”

The majority of the people who joined the rally crowd were NOT TAs.

Linda Lourash was one of them. Her twin sons have special needs, and need TAs.

The school district is canceling special education classes as long as TA are on strike.

“Children are not going to understand why they can’t go to school,” said Lourash. “My children understand it. They just don’t accept it.”

The school district and the union still stand far apart.

The school board says the union lied about the state of negotiations, and they weren’t up front with accurate information about financial figures.

At the end of the day, there’s no deal…and a lot of uncertainty for parents and teachers.

Pre-school classes will also be canceled tomorrow. The strike is set to start at 8:00 a.m.

Some members from the Chicago Teachers Union will also be coming down to join forces with the Decatur TAs.

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