Park County School District to close Monday due to planned teachers’ strike

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FAIRPLAY, Colo. -- The Park County RE-2 School District's teachers announced in a news release Sunday they plan to strike Monday, and the school district announced late Sunday night on its website it will close for the day.

The South Park Education Association said the teachers' union has not had an offer from the school district to resume talks about a contract.

“No educator wants a strike; we want to be in school with our students. Resolving this retention crisis, though, has always been about our students and keeping school employees here who love them and are committed to this fantastic community,” said Taya Mastrobuono, an elementary school teacher and president of the South Park Education Association, in the release.

But the school district superintendent's message to parents said the district worked with the education association to develop a professional agreement for two days during the week, but the education association did not ratify the agreement.

Members of the education association plan to picket throughout the day at the Park County Schools Building, according to the release, starting at 7 a.m.

“SPEA members want to enter into a new professional agreement with the District rooted in mutual trust and respect, and centered on the welfare of Park County students,” said Mastrobuono, in the release. “The District can send a powerful signal that it too wants to stop the revolving door of educators in and out of our schools by quickly committing a portion of the considerable funds it holds in reserve into deserved educator compensation for this current school year. Our students’ futures are at stake and it’s time for the district to take action.”

The school district announced late Sunday it will cancel classes, athletics and extra-curricular activities Monday.  The district also announced local law enforcement will be present during the strike.

"Again, the Board is disheartened that the Association is choosing a strike rather than to move forward with a positive working relationship with the District that includes favorable avenues for SPEA to handle the salary negotiations that it desires," according to a news release from the district.

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