Dixon Parents Grill Superintendent on Strike

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

DIXON (WIFR) -- Negotiations move intro their second week in the Dixon school district. The president of the school board says the board just submitted a new proposal to teachers that could get kids back in school tomorrow, but we're told that's not likely to go through.

School Board President Tom Balser said in order for the school district to be eligible for certain state funding, kids must be back in school tomorrow to start ISAT exams. He wants the strike to be called off for the next three weeks, calling the break a "cooling off period" so kids can take the test and negotiations can resume during spring break.

As of right now school is canceled for Monday.

Hundreds of parents packed into a room to express their frustration with the process saying not enough is being done to end the strike.

Superintendent Michael Juenger spoke to a crowd of more than 200 parents today about the strike, and what is being done to end it.

"The board believes, and I do too, that we want to be able to continue to educate kids," Juenger told the crowd.

But Juenger told the packed room that it all boils down to money. The superintendent answered questions off of cards for nearly an hour and a half, questions ranging from special education assistance to retirement benefits for teachers.

Juenger said he understands parents may go away from this meeting tonight with more questions than they originally came with.

"We needed to have a discussion with the community, and we did that," said Juenger. "And all the questions, I did not ... the questions that were sent to me, what questions I answered, were determined by the parents who set the meeting up. So from that perspective I feel it was productive."

"Bottom line is I think the issues that were addressed, we went in circles, and parents really did not get the information they need," said meeting organizer Marce Piller. "It is very clear that our students education is on the back burner, but the financial aspect of the contract is number one."

A common issue that kept coming up was whether the school had enough money for textbooks. Juenger assured the crowd that once the students were found that needed books, those would be provided to them.


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