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As Possible Strike Looms, What's Next for District 300

The earliest District 300 teachers could go on strike would be this Tuesday. The district has begun to set up emergency daycare options for parents affected by the strike.

District 300 teachers could strike as early as next Tuesday, leaving the district's 20,856 students out of school and their parents scrambling for daycare. 

Last night, bargaining teams from LEAD 300, the district's main teachers' union, and the district met to try and iron out details surrounding ongoing contract negotiations. 

The main sticking points have centered around compensation and class size, said LEAD 300 president Kolleen Hanetho. 

While the union and district are close to reaching a consensus on salaries, the parties remained torn on class size issues, Hanetho said Thursday morning. 

In its final offers to LEAD 300, District 300 provided cap sizes at the elementary level but did not address class sizes for middle and high school classrooms, Hanetho said.

“We have some high school classrooms with 40 to 45 students and then another classroom with 20 students...it could be the same exact subject,” Hanetho said. “That is not fair.”

Hanetho said cap sizes for classrooms is needed at the middle school and high school level as well.

"They want to measure it on average classroom size ... our proposal has said all along that we need to set caps for classrooms for the high school level," she said. 

Under District 300's final offers submitted earlier this month, the maximum limit in kindergarten classrooms would change from the current cap of 32 students to a cap of 28 students. 

For second and first grades that cap would decrease from the current max of 34 students to 28 students. And for third through fifth grade classrooms, the maximum would change from a 36-student maximum to a 31-student cap. 

  • READ MORE: District 300's Final Offers to LEAD 300 

The earliest teachers could strike is this Tuesday. On Nov. 20, teachers filed a "notice of intent to strike," which gives them the authorization to set a strike date but does not necessarily mean they will strike. 

LEAD 300 members are set to meet Sunday. Hanetho said Thursday morning she is hopeful she will have a tentative agreement to present. If not, they could decide at that time to strike — and then set a date for a strike — or to continue with negotiations. 

"I hope we can come to an agreement," she said. " But we are willing to strike to get an appropriate classroom environment for these children … and get the focus back on the quality of education."

If a strike date is set, parents will be notified through a rapid communication message, and updates will be posted on the District 300 website. All school buildings, activities and events would be closed in the case of a strike. 

Meanwhile, District 300 has begun to map out child care plans for parents if District 300 teachers do go on strike next week. 

The district has set up three emergency attendance centers that would be available as emergency daycare for students in kindergarten through sixth grade if a strike does occur, according to a rapid communication message from Superintendent Michael Bregy sent out to parents over Thanksgiving weekend.

The centers will be set up at Carpentersville Middle School, Dundee Middle School and Hampshire Middle School. Daycare would be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Parents interested in bringing their children to the centers must register by 3 p.m. today by dropping off a registration form at District 300's administration building in Carpentersville. More information and a registration form is available on District 300's website. 

The village of Lake in the Hills is also offering daycare in the case of a strike. The daycare will be available from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at village hall, 600 Harvest Gate, and the cost is $25 per day for LITH residents and $30 per day for non-residents for your first child. The second child will be $22.50 per day for residents and $27 for non-residents. 

Those interested in LITH daycare can call 847-960-7460 for more information or to register. 

 

Lorie November 30, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I knew I should have moved to Palatine!!!
brian November 30, 2012 at 04:19 PM
both "parties" have supported non-immigration policy...been good for business!
cynthia November 30, 2012 at 05:03 PM
fire them and start all over. we need to bust the teachers unions and start a trend in education reform. Go to Illinois report card to see the pay increses and the amount of money spent per child and then review the results and progress. The United states is 17th and sometimes as low as 35 th in the world as far as test scores but we spend 10 times more per student than any other country..Fire them and start over.
cynthia November 30, 2012 at 05:05 PM
We must vote out Dick Durbin the King of the Dream Act.
Non Confrontational November 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Union carpenter here. I would love to know how many teachers drive those little foreign cars? I would love to know how many teachers voted for Romney? My children go to catholic school since the district administrators were mismanaging money years ago.
cynthia December 01, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Entitlements is the elephant in the room. Granted illegals are a huge cost but the expected entitlements is the real problem.
karen December 03, 2012 at 04:12 AM
the reason the US spends more per student that other countries is not teacher salary or materials used in the regular education classroom, it is because the US gives the opportunity for all kids to receive an education. This includes the illegals (which BTW, I think something needs to be done about this) and students with special ed. needs. Special Ed. students cost the district much more than a student in regular ed. I worked with a student that needed a $7,000 dollar device to access his education. And because he needed this, the district had to pay. I know of another student that had to be placed in a special school in Washington. The district had to pay over $50,000 for that one child to attend that school. Another student had to take a taxi to and from each school everyday. The district had to pay for this. This is why the US spends more on education that other countries....the laws regarding special ed. students. Did you know that Illinois is suppose to pay 51% of the districts needs? but it has only paid around 25%. Ill., is ranked 49th out of 50 states in funding our schools. And on top of that, recent Ill. politicians have squandered the teacher retirement fund. So when I go to retire, even though I have been paying a massive amout of my check into the TRS, there may be no $ left for me. By no means is poor test results because of teachers' performance alone. It is based on funding, special ed. , illegals, parent help in their child's education.
Ashley December 03, 2012 at 07:07 AM
Stop with the blaming of illegals, they are not to blame for our educational system. How we fund education in Illinois and around the country is the problem as well as how much value and respect we have for educators. If you are blaming it on illegals not only don't you have a clue about school funding, but you are a complete idiot.
Dana Rodriguez December 03, 2012 at 04:43 PM
From what I understand the hold up on an agreement is based on salary/benefits and class room size. First of all there are millions in our country without jobs and many of them layed off teachers who would probably LOVE to have any job. Even more so there are millions that haven't received a living expense raise in years, but yet they continue to go to work and do there job. They don't threaten to strike or walk away from the responsibilities of there position just because they don't get what they want. The entitlement attitude that I see in all of this is being pushed onto my children and they are having to pay the price. I keep hearing "we are for the children and have their best interest in mind", but yet your willing to walk away and let the kids go without their education until you get what you want. Wow, when my kids or other kids demand things and throw fits to get what they want we call them spoiled brats and reprimand them, what exactly is the difference here?

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