DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Public School officials and the teachers’ union returned to the bargaining table Friday night. Both sides say they would like to agree on a fair compensation contract before a planned teachers strike on Monday.
While discussions are planned through the weekend, with the next meeting set to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, families of more than 4,000 preschoolers are preparing for the possibility of no school next week. Shiaya Moore-Walker is one of those parents.
“He is three, early childhood education and full-day program,” she said.
Her son is a student at the Stephen Knight Center where parents lined up to pick up their children on Friday, many wondering if they would be back come Monday.
“We found out yesterday that the schools will be closed Monday if there’s a strike,” Jaime Livaditis said.
“We can deal with it but I have friends who are scrambling what they are going to do with their children on Monday.”
It is a question Moore-Walker is asking herself now, “It’s a little frustrating just because I have to figure out when my mom is open so she can watch him when she is open because she works too.”
Parents who do not have family to turn to or cannot stay home have to get creative. Livaditis says many of the parents are turning to each other for support.
“They are private Facebook pages setup, I think, for different schools. If you’re in a jam check the Facebook page because there could be parents that will take kids,” Livaditis said.
Right now, it is a backup plan, but it’s one that has parents pushing for progress.
“I think this is such a hardship on families there’s a lot of people who need to go to work or they may lose their job, it’s just not fair this issue needs to be resolved,” Livaditis said.
More than half of the nearly 5,000 ECE students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
The district says to ensure the children continue to get meals; students can go to the school to eat breakfast and lunch with a parent or guardian.
The latest proposal from DPS to the Denver Teachers Classroom Association is on the DPS website along with resources for families.
LINK: Denver Public Schools