Some D60 schools reopen as Pueblo teachers announce second day o - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Some D60 schools reopen as Pueblo teachers announce second day of strike

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(Above: Live look as teachers gather at D60 administration building on Day 1 of their strike)

After all schools were closed in Pueblo District 60 Monday, some schools will reopen while the teacher's strike continues Tuesday. 

Pueblo District 60 announced Monday that all preschool programs in the district, except for Bessemer and Franklin, will reopen. Paragon High School will also reopen as well.

Staffing for both preschool programs and Paragon High School will be filled with regularly scheduled teachers, not substitutes, according to the district. 

This announcement comes as the Pueblo Education Association announced teachers will be on strike for a second day. In a news release, the PEA said the decision to end the strike lies with District 60. 

"The district can resolve this at any point; the ball is in their court. We are frustrated with their lack of response. So, we're committed to striking again tomorrow, and until the board makes the right decision in accordance with the neutral fact finder. This is the only option they have left us," said Pueblo Education Association President Suzanne Ethredge.

Ethredge said demonstrations will begin Tuesday morning at 7:15 a.m. throughout the city.

District 60 Spokesperson Dalton Sprouse said all communications involving school closures will now come from individual schools themselves.

Teachers from Pueblo District 60 picketed Monday, and were the first to strike in Colorado since the mid-1990s.

Teachers, staff and supporters showed up at schools this morning wearing pink shirts for solidarity and carrying signs demanding action by the district administration. They also rallied along major roads and the administration building to make sure their voices were being heard by the decision makers in the district.

Students who should have been in class on Monday preparing for upcoming AP exams or other end of year exams joined their teachers on the picket line.

Strike organizers say "Pueblo is a union town" and they've seen support from fellow union members and non-union members throughout the day.

President of the Pueblo Education Agency says members are demanding the Cost of Living Adjustment of 2% from the district and nothing less. "We are hoping for a short term resolution."  Teachers are expected to be back in place at their schools and the administration building for further picketing and protest.

More than 900 teachers are said to walk off the job after negotiations between the Teachers Union and Pueblo District 60 School Board failed. Teachers say they won't stop until they get what they've asked for which includes cost of living increases for this school year. 

While the union has not settled on an agreement with the district yet, it is unclear if Pueblo City Schools will close for a second day on Tuesday.

"Nobody disputes that teachers and all of our educators deserve way more, thats a given," said Barb Clementi of the D60 School Board. 

D60 teachers and labor unions from across the state will join together outside a number of places throughout the district Monday. 

''Our intent is to do this as long as it takes to get what we've requested." 

The strike comes following a nationwide protest involving teachers from Oklahoma, Arizona and some right here in Colorado. "The last offer is out there, it has not been withdrawn."

The District 60 School Board presented an offer Friday night, which included a $1,000 stipend, 2.25% cost of living increase starting next school year, and $50 monthly per employee towards health insurance plans beginning in September 2018. 

RELATED: Pueblo Education Association rejects District 60 offer to avoid teacher's strike

"This is the right fight for us at the right time and so I really feel this is the proper move it's not one that made lightly or one that we are taking lightly," said a member of the Pueblo Educators Association. 

As far as how long the strike will last, well that depends on when both sides can agree. "We are certainly hoping that we have a strike that only lasts three to five days."

The Pueblo Education Association has also set up an alert system where people can receive texts updates on the Pueblo teachers strike. 

Here is a statement from D60 School Board President Barb Clementi: 

Here is the Pueblo Education Association's response via Twitter Sunday night:

Nearly 80 percent of D60 kids qualify for reduced or free lunch, and for some it's the only balanced meal they get all day. The District says it does plan on serving meals, despite the schools being closed. 

The schools that will offer free lunches for students are Minnequa, Mortin, Belmont, Baca, and Beulah Heights Elementaries, as well as the Lucero and Rawlings Libraries from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

RELATED: Facilities offering day care options for parents affected by D60 teacher strike

As KOAA's Photojournalist Carl Winder found out, you'll see teachers, paraprofessionals and supporters at several locations around town.

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