Belvidere Teachers Starting Without New Contract

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BELVIDERE (WIFR) – Teachers are back to work in the Belvidere School District, however they’re without a new contract.

The President of the Belvidere Education Association says he doesn’t want to go on strike or protest. He says he just wants better services for kids, especially special needs students in a new contract.

Mark Luthin is the president and a biology teacher at Belvidere North High School. He says teachers are fighting for smaller class sizes, claiming it hurts the quality of learning for students. Luthin says another sticking point is for the district to attract and keep teachers in the area. He says he doesn’t want it to come to a strike, but if they did, that wouldn’t happen for another six weeks according to state law.

Superintendent Michael Houselog says the district is working with the state to make sure they’re compliant with the requirements for special needs classes. He says the board has offered teachers a raise. Houselog says he is optimistic about coming to an agreement with the BEA.

The School Board meets Monday, however they won’t be voting on a contract. Luthin says he’s agreed to mediation with the district, scheduled for September 3rd.

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