Teachers in Lake Villa have announced a strike date of February 29.
The decision was made after an all-day bargaining session on Wednesday resulted in no progress.
"It was clear after our all-day bargaining session on Wednesday that retaining - and raising - the quality of education in Lake Villa is low on the list of the district's priorities," said Melissa Merges, veteran physical education teacher and LVFT President.
"We have proposed a comprehensive system for evaluating teachers. We are asking for classroom materials for our students. We, the teachers, are taking a leading role in improving teaching and learning in Lake Villam" she added. "The continued stalling and delaying by the Board is especially frustrating to Lake Villa teachers and the community we serve. We know our teachers are among the lowest paid in the county while producing some of the highest state test scores.We have given the board many options for controlling insurance costs, including having teachers pay an increased share of those costs. Unfortunately, we may have to strike to move talks forward.
"We don't want to strike, but the Board may force us to take that step."
The labor union is seeking "modest raises" along with classroom reforms including:
- Establishment of a committee comprised of teachers and board representatives to choose, pilot, review and/or modify curriculum;
- Curricular materials for every grade, level, and subject to be made available;
- A collaborative approach to teacher evaluation that shall be consistent throughout the District;
- Enhancements to preparation time for teachers to plan curriculum and write lessons;
- Additional funding for teacher professional development.
The teachers union says it will continue to negotiate with the school district until the strike date in hopes that a deal can be made. The union has met with the district 19 times, nine of which included the assistance of a federal mediator.