Contract talks continued this week in the Alton School District between representatives of the Alton Education Association and the district negotiating team. No new agreement on a pay increase for teachers has been reached but both sides say they are hopeful one is in reach. The sides met face to face without a federal mediator.

It's the first time both sides have meet since the AEA members rejected the districts most recent offer early last month. Union members are in the third year of a three year contract and are attempting to exercise the contract re-opener on pay since teachers agreed to a pay freeze last school year. District Director of Finance Chris Norman and AEA President Edie Banks have both stated that negotiations continue to be positive and there is no hostility on either side. Both Norman and Banks agree that the two sides are not far apart in terms of money, but it's just a matter of working on finding common ground. New talks are expected to take place after the first of the year.