Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Students Back in Class after 21-Day Strike by Teachers in Peters

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Students Back in Class after 21-Day Strike by Teachers in Peters

Article excerpt

Peters students and teachers returned to the classroom Friday morning after a 21-day strike ended without any resolution to a contract dispute in the district.

By state law, the 4,175 students had to return to class Friday in order to receive the mandated 180 instructional days during the school year. The lost time will be made up by canceling all non- mandatory holiday breaks and other previous scheduled days off, and students will be in class until June 15 - six days later than planned.

"We're very glad to have everybody back. It's great to have students back in the classroom," said district spokeswoman Shelly Belcher.

Returning over a holiday weekend also meant fewer students. The district reported a 42 percent absentee rate today, with 2,424 students in classes at the district's five schools.

Representatives from the teachers union, the Peters Township Federation of Teachers, could not be reached for comment.

Despite more than 20 negotiating sessions since January, the district and the teachers union have been unable to reach any meaningful agreement on a host of issues. …

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