The Columbus Board of Education and the Columbus Education Association have reached a conceptual agreement, after nearly fourteen continuous hours of negotiations.
The school board and teachers’ union released statements around 3 a.m. Thursday after the announcement, but details of the new deal were not immediately available.
Students will resume in-person instruction on Monday if both parties approve the deal.
“The past few months have been dedicated to finding a solution and a solid plan with the Columbus Education Association in the shared support of our children. Tonight, we are pleased to announce that we have reached a conceptual agreement with CEA leaders, and our kids are going back to in-person instruction on Monday,” Columbus Board of Education President Jennifer Adair said. “While details cannot yet be disclosed, the contract recognizes the Board’s commitment to improving our student outcomes, the essential work of CEA members, and to strengthening our learning environments. We look forward to welcoming our students, teachers and staff to class on Mondays.”
Students will remain in online learning Thursday and Friday, giving teachers two days to plan in preparation for a return to school on Monday.
CEA says agreement has been reached on a new employment agreement covering nearly 4,500 teachers, librarians, nurses, counsellors, psychologists and other education professionals employed by Columbus City schools, temporarily ending the first teachers’ strike in the district since 1975.
CEA spokesperson Regina Fuentes said, “We recognize the sacrifices students, parents and teachers have made over the past three days as we fight for the schools Columbus students deserve. ” She continued: “Let the history books reflect that this strike was about students who deserved a commitment to modern schools with heating and air conditioning, smaller class sizes and a well-rounded curriculum including art, music and the arts. physical education.”
According to Fuentes, CEA members will first consider and vote on the ratification of the global concept agreement. A mass meeting of members is scheduled for this weekend, potentially ending the strike.
Fuentes said the board should vote on the deal after CEA ratifies it. If both sides approve the deal, classes will resume for students on Monday.
The first day of the 2022-23 school year was less than ideal after the superintendent Dr Talisa Dixon admitted the district ‘has failed in some areas’ and faces unexpected challenges.
Some parents have said they don’t want their children to learn remotely until the strike is over.
10TV received several emails Wednesday night from parents saying their child was marked as present even though they hadn’t signed up for remote learning.
The district responded to those concerns, saying schools must manually mark a student as absent. Until that happens, the student is marked “present” by default. The neighborhood awaits student attendance be a day late for most schools.
The union and the board have met 23 times since March, but no agreement was reached until Thursday morning.
A recent report from 10 Investigates found since March, health and safety inspectors flagged 32 CCS schools for issues that needed to be fixed – like leaking or missing ceiling tiles, water intrusions and chips of lead paint that needed to be encapsulated.
Columbus City schools are scheduled to resume full-time, in-person learning in school buildings on Monday.