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Dixon back to school after negotiations end with agreement

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Dixon teachers were back in class Wednesday after nine days on strike.

An agreement was made at 1:40 a.m.between the Dixon Education Association and the Dixon School District.

The important reason for the kids to be back in school is so that they can prepare to undergo mandatory state testing, or ISAT.

That's expected to start on Friday, saving the district from being out more than $250,000.

Meanwhile, it was back to school for Hayley Thomas, a senior at Dixon High School.

"It was a nice break," said Thomas.

After nine days at home because of a teacher strike, on the first day back, her classes weren't exactly full of other students.

"Half-empty,” she said. “The teachers are really happy. Everyone else is like, yeah, we're back."

She's a little surprised they had to go back so soon.

"It seemed like they were dead-locked for a while, so I was a little shocked that it was in the middle of the night and I wasn't happy that at five o'clock in the morning, they got to decide whether or not we were to go to school."

Not everyone went to school.

"Not too many people showed up and I was really caught up at work, so I just took today off," said Van Rauch, who’s a senior.

But, for staff members like Washington School's Principal, Dan Rick, it was a happy reunion.

"Seeing kids coming up and hugging their teachers and teachers in tears, happy to be back,” said Rick. “It's all about the kids and getting them back in and I know all our teachers feel the same way."

The Dixon Education Association plans to ratify the new four-year contract on Monday and  then the school board will have to approve that at its regularly-scheduled board meeting the following Wednesday.

As far as particulars of the agreement, the union said there are some raises included for teachers, who, at the same time, will have to pay out more for health insurance.

The last full day for students will now be on May 31st.

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