Striking teachers in Fall River, Mass., and Tacoma, Wash., have reiterated their demands for higher salaries - in Fall River by rejecting the city's lastest contract proposal and in Tacoma by voting to defy a court order to return to work.
But in Dayton, Ohio, teachers and the city's school board reached tentative agreement on a new contract. Details were withheld until after the 2,200 teachers vote today. However, school officials say it offers raises in the form of a total dollar package instead of percentage increases. The district has 37,000 pupils.
"Tacoma teachers will not be reporting to work Monday," said spokeswoman Linda Peretti after a majority of the 1,800 strikers voted to disobey a court's back-to-work order. The judge did not specify a penalty for disobedience; no new talks have been scheduled. Some 31,000 students have been idled by the walkout.
Teachers in Fall River say they are ready to return to the negotiating table despite their rejection of the school board's latest wage proposal. The strike affects 14,000 students and more than 850 teachers.
In Cleveland, school board officials furlonghed 556 non-teaching employes Friday in an effort to convince state officials to lift restrictions on spending so a settlement can be reached. Strikes by school employes in five other Ohio districts disrupted classes for some 60,000 students.