No Deal in Dixon; Parents Seek Answers - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

No Deal in Dixon; Parents Seek Answers

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The teachers strike continues in Dixon after the school board and teachers union failed to come to agreement once again.

Both sides were back at the bargaining table Sunday, where the school board made a move to table the strike for three weeks, and get students and teachers back in the classroom during that time. That would allow students to complete the mandatory ISAT testing.

The Teachers Association did not agree to that request.

According to Dixon Schools Superintendent Mike Juenger, if the testing isn't completed, it could mean the loss of thousands of dollars in state funding and possibly lead to the school district not being recognized by the state.

Superintendent Juenger took some time out of the negotiations session Sunday afternoon for a meeting with concerned parents.

It was a standing room only crowd inside the Dixon VFW Hall, where hundreds of parents, teachers, and students turned out, looking for answers.

Juenger took time at the beginning of the meeting to explain the financial situation of the district. He said that due to state and federal cuts, the Dixon school district stands to lose millions of dollars over the next two years.

This is why it is difficult to simply give the teachers what they want and end the strike.

The rest of the meeting was dedicated to a question and answer session with attendees.

Many of the questions challenged the school board and Juenger to explain why children don't have enough textbooks and what the district is going to do to end the strike.

It was a very pro-teacher crowd - full of parents who want their kids back in school and want the people teaching them to be able to do the best job they can.

"The district, I think, isn't doing what they should and now it's time they - the parents - step up and put the pressure on, and I think that's the only way it's going to get settled," Carolyn Brechon, whose grandchild goes to school in the Dixon district, said.

"Parents are all very frustrated. Teachers are very frustrated. They want to be in the classroom. They love their kids; they love their jobs. That's where they want to be and they know it's not doing any good to not be there everyday," said one parent who attended the meeting, Virginia Whaley.

But still the strike continues.

Negotiations between the board and the Teachers Association are scheduled to continue later this week. Also set to continue this week: picketing by parents in support of the teachers.

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