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First day of Cahokia School District postponed after vote

6:06 AM, Aug 7, 2012   |    comments
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By Sharon Stevens Education Reporter

Cahokia, IL (KSDK) - This morning, nearly 40 employees in the Cahokia School District are getting layoff notices, according to teachers' union president, Brent Murphy. The superintendent says the layoffs are likely temporary and do not include teaching positions.

The reason the layoffs are happening, is because there is uncertainty of when the first day of school will start. The Cahokia School Board voted Monday to postpone the first day of school, which was originally planned scheduled for Wednesday, August 22.

Superintendent Art Ryan, says pushing the start date until after Labor Day is directly related to negotiations with the teachers' union.

District officials see it as a preemptive move. They say if there is a strike and school is already in session, learning will be disrupted.

Ryan says the layoffs won't happen if the teachers union and district can come to agreement and start school on the original date. By law, layoff notices must be accompanied by a 30-day notice.

"What we're basically trying to do is give ourselves a little more time before we get the kids in and then potentially have to have work stoppage later on," said Superintendent Art Ryan.

Representatives from the union and the school board held an informal meeting Monday afternoon. The union doesn't like the idea of postponing classes.

"The beginning paperwork hasn't been filed, so for them to do this, like I said, it's very disappointing. I don't think there's any reason to do it," said Brent Murphy with the Cahokia Federation of Teachers Local 1272.

Towanda Luster's three sons are all students in the Cahokia School District.

"I think they should just let the kids go back to school as scheduled and not push the strike issue," said Luster.

"I hope they come to some type of agreement and figure out what the teachers are going to go and what they're going to do. My kids need to be in school. They need to start on time," said parent Kevin Banker.

Though the vote to postpone the first day has passed, an exact start date has not yet been decided upon.

KSDK

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