DeKalb schools to resume today

By M. Robert Berg

Classes for 3,800 DeKalb public school students resumed today after the teacher’s strike that closed the schools for 12 days ended Friday.

DeKalb schools opened today after the Board of Education and the DeKalb Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) reached a tentative agreement on a contract.

The agreement was reached on Friday afternoon, according to a press release from both parties. The release also stated the gag rule was back in effect, so details of the agreement were not discussed.

“Both sides have agreed with the mediator’s request that no details of the agreement be released until each side has had an opportunity to review and approve the final contract language,” Charles McCormick, spokesperson for the Board of Education, and Jim Womack, spokesperson for the DCTA, wrote in the press release.

School was originally scheduled to begin Aug. 25, but on Aug. 24 the DCTA voted to reject what was then the latest offer by the board and went on strike.

All nine schools in DeKalb were affected, including one high school, two middle schools and six elementary schools.

The contract is only tentative for now, according to the release. On Monday, Sept. 20, the board and the DCTA will consider the contract for approval at separate meetings. After that, the board and the DCTA will hold a joint press conference where details of the agreement will be released.

Kindergarten classes will begin on Thursday, Sept. 16. On Monday and Tuesday kindergarten conferences will be held, and on Wednesday, kindergarten screening will occur.

Although details were not released regarding the agreement, the release stated there was compromise on monetary and language issues.

Among the issues in dispute were salaries, health insurance, length of the school day, language in the contract concerning student learning, early retirement adjustments and dock days stemming from the strike.

Womack and McCormick were unavailable for comment.