DANVILLE — Teachers in the Danville Area School District announced Wednesday they will go on strike because of a contract dispute.
A last minute negotiating session began Wednesday afternoon.
The union president says he is not optimistic about negotiations with the Danville Area school board.
He says if the strike happens, it could last up to six days and graduation will be pushed back.
The parking lot was full at Danville Primary School but that may not be the case Thursday if the teachers’ strike goes on as planned.
Close to 200 teachers in the Danville Area School District have been working without a contract since 2012 and as of now they plan to strike.
“It’s not fair to anyone. It’s not fair to the teachers, or the children or the community or anything,” said Jean Knouse.
The impending strike has left many parents scrambling for childcare.
“It is hard for a lot of families to make arrangements for our children whatever time of the year a strike would happen during the school year. However, I’m very privileged where I work at the community center. My daughter can come to work with me,” said Joann Gray of Danville.
The Danville Community Center has an after school program for kids, which the director says they plan to expand because of the impending strike.
Jean Knouse is the director of the Danville Community Center. She says a lot of parents already signed up their children for the program.
“We’ve made it known to our children that they are welcome to be here all day and we will have a counselor for them.”
Union president Dave Fortunato says the strike could last either five or six days. He also says graduation would be pushed back until June 15.
Kyle Brady is a senior at Danville High School and says he is not happy about graduation possibly being postponed. He even had to reschedule his vacation.
“It’s something that we’ve looked forward to for a while and just to have it pushed back, it kind of bums you out,” Brady said.
Joann Gray has a daughter in seventh grade. She says she wants to see things settled quickly.
“Please get back into the sandbox, play, have a compromise, so that our children don’t suffer any longer than they have to.”
There is still a chance a strike could be averted at the Danville Area School District. The teachers’ union is meeting with the school board Wednesday.