Edwardsville teachers made their presence known at Monday's school board meeting. More than 200 of them picketed outside the meeting at Woodland Elementary School. The meeting was eventually moved to the school gym to accommodate the crowd of several hundred area residents. The teacher's union has already filed an intent to strike notice after failing to reach an agreement with the district during contract negotiations.
Several speakers at the meeting urged both sides to find middle ground for the sake of the students and parents in the district who do not want a school year disruption. However, there were also those that took sides...applauding the school board for taking a stand in tough economic times, as well as those who supported the teachers call for a limit on class sizes. Some speakers accused Superintendent Ed Hightower of attempting to drive a wedge into the community, an accusation he later denied. And yet other speakers strongly urged school board members to take a more active role in negotiating a new contract, rather than have the superintendent and district attorney lead the way. Classes in Edwardsville are set to resume on Wednesday.