DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The teaching assistants strike is stretching into a third day.
More than 500 students in special education and pre-kindergarten classes remain out of school, while classes remained open for more than 8,000 other students. The strike comes after months of failed negotiations.
The school district released a statement late Thursday morning, saying in part:
Parents of affected students may request an IEP meeting after the strike concludes to determine the impact of lost time and compensatory services needed as a result. IEP teams must consider the total time lost in order to determine the impact. Therefore, this cannot be determined until teaching assistants return to work. Parents may call the special education administrator assigned to your child’s school to schedule a meeting, or call the MPSED office at 217-362-3055.
Teaching assistants picketed in the snow on Halloween.
“We’re out here for a reason,” Allison Coit said. “We have no intention of not being out here and fighting through this weather.”
Coit’s teacher brought her a coffee in the morning.
“She asked when I was coming back,” Coit said. “She’s ready. They’re definitely ready. Yesterday, she let me know it was hard times in the classrooms and they were missing us dearly in there.”
Teaching assistants are calling for higher wages and better health insurance. School board officials said they would “welcome” any teaching assistants who wanted to join programs that are still open.