DALLAS TOWNSHIP -- Teachers in the Dallas School District hit the picket lines Monday morning. It's the first strike in the history of the Dallas School District, and there's no end in sight.
About 50 teachers have been picketing in front of the Dallas Elementary School since 9 a.m. One sign read, "Think education is expensive? Try ignorance!"
"We'll be out here until the Department of Education tells us to go back or we come to an agreement," said Mike Cherinka, Dallas High School computer teacher.
The teachers and the school board disagree on several issues like salaries, health care, and early retirement. John Holland, the president of the teachers union says there have been some contract talks, but he is still waiting to receive specifics from the district about those issues.
"They haven't given us a proposal. In 18 months we haven't received one proposal from the district. That's inexcusable," Holland said.
Dallas School District leaders say healthcare costs and state pension requirements make bargaining for things like higher salary increases difficult.
As for students, many didn't mind the day off.
"It's a nice little break we have, but we'll make it up soon," said one student.
"The fact that we're gonna have to make it up over Christmas break is a little overwhelming," said another.
"Nobody wants to strike. We want to be in class. I want to be in my classroom right now with my kids. I'm sure they want to be in there with me even though some probably won't say that. This is sometimes a necessity. You got to get your message out there," said Cherinka.
There was another bargaining session Monday afternoon. Contract talks fell through, and teachers are expected to continue striking on Tuesday.