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SD 65 Teachers Protest Fine Arts Cuts

Members of the District 65 teachers' union and their supporters marched down Church Street, calling for a "fair contract" and protesting proposed arts cuts.

As between the teachers' union and district officials, union members came out in force to protest proposed arts cuts before Monday night's school board meeting.

District 65 Educator's Council (DEC) president Jean Luft said the group had voted earlier this summer to authorize leadership to put in motion the actions needed to strike. But that's a situation they're hoping to avoid, she said.

"We're trying very hard not to have it come to a strike," Luft told Patch.

District officials and union representatives have been discussing a new contract for teachers since March. In June, they agreed to bring in a federal mediator; meetings with began the mediator Aug. 8.

Board president Katie Bailey responded to the protestors in a prepared statement at the beginning of the meeting.

"We are willing to negotiate and have over the last five months," she said. "We remain fully committed to working with the DEC and the federal mediator to find a common ground."

Board members were expected to vote on a motion to adopt the district's tentative 2012-13 budget, which includes a five percent reduction in expenditures, later at Monday night's meeting.

h m August 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Finally, a school board that is acting responsible. What do you get? A bunch of teachers saying give us more. Well if there is less to give out then it is about time the teachers union accept less. All the union will do is go on strike and hold everybody hostage unt they get what they want.
JC August 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Yours is a close-minded and ignorant view. Cutting the arts should be the last thing on the docket. First? Cutting administration. The arts are proven to increase achievement across every subject. Those teachers aren't just there to give teachers planning time. They are there to help students break out of the 19th-century educational mindset of the three Rs. You can not show one instance in American education where cutting the arts led to an increase in student achievement. Quite the opposite.
Skokie Mike August 22, 2012 at 02:48 PM
@ jc maybe they are cutting the arts program because they are overpaying elsewhere ...
Nancy Murphy August 22, 2012 at 03:32 PM
They are wildly overpaying elsewhere - as in salaries and pensions -- http://tinyurl.com/cx2fjxp
h m August 22, 2012 at 04:04 PM
How about everybody (administrators/teachers)take a pay cut and place a cap on the pensions that the (administrators/teachers) can receive
Skokie Mike August 22, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Teachers and admin would go on strike and deprive your children of an education before that happens. They only work 180 days a year ...........
h m August 22, 2012 at 06:43 PM
You are correct Mike, the teachers and administrators are only concerned about themselves. It used to be when you worked for the school system, you made a lower salary but then you retired you would get a pension. Now these people think they are better than the average person because they think they should get paid as if they are working in private industry and still get a pension. I think it is about time that the state constitution be changed to no longer guarantee these pensions. Also, cap the amount that the retired teacher/administrator can receive from there pension. Why is it most of the people only get Social Security and there savings and these people can make 7-15 times social security and have there saving. They are not better than any of use.
ConcernedCitizen August 23, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Everyone chooses what they want to do in life. You could have chosen to also work only 186 days (by the way Skokie Mike-get your facts straight), but you did not. You all need to GET A LIFE and concern yourself with other things!!! Why not take all pensions away from state employees who are set to receive them? Why are you only discussing teachers???????
Anna August 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Dear Concerned Citizen, Because, if you noticed, this article is specifically about teachers protesting fine arts cuts. It's right in the title. Could you perhaps be one of the deprived young people whose teachers have failed to teach reading comprehension? To cut fine arts education is a shame. Maybe teachers could demand that the administration give back some of those fat salaries and pensions to make up the shortfall. It's for the children, after all.
ConcernedCitizen August 26, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Anna: Could you be one of those who learned to be rude and inconsiderate to others!

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