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Funding on the line for Dixon Schools as teacher strike enters 8th day

Posted on: 4:09 pm, March 11, 2013, by

Monday morning is when most kids are supposed to be in school.

But, Dixon students were at home and their teachers were still on strike, holed up at a command center downtown.

Special education teacher, Marcia Mintun believes in their fight.

“The time to be serious about negotiations was before we went on strike,” said Mintun.

There were still picketers outside of Jefferson School in Dixon on Monday.

Passing motorists have been honking their horns as a show of support for the teachers.

The Dixon Education Association won’t go along with a request made by the district Superintendent Michael Juenger, that the strike be put on hold for three weeks so students can undergo mandatory state testing.

“For us to take a cooling off period now, that would lead them no sense of urgency to get this done, so we can be in our classes tomorrow and start the testing,” she said.

If students aren’t back in the classroom this week, Juenger says the district could lose $280,000, further hampering its ability to negotiate with the union.

“I truly hope that we can get our kids in here and get them tested,” said Juenger. “The state board has let us know it’s important.”

But with salaries, benefits and insurance on the line, teachers like Mintun feel the timing of their fight is fair, not only for them, but for future generations of educators.

“Education is such a wonderful position to be in that we need to encourage the best and the brightest coming up.”

If students don’t get to take their Illinois Standard Achievement Test this week or next, the district could lose an estimated $280,000 in state aid.

If that happens, Juenger says teacher layoffs are possible.

For the latest, go to www.dixonschools.org