Special education teachers who work with about 7,000 students in the Lehigh Valley area in Pennsylvania are set to go out on strike Sept. 22 if a resolution is not reached on salary and benefits.
The Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pa., said that nearly 700 teachers and staff members at Intermediate Unit 20 would participate in the strike, which would take place about three weeks into the school year. IU20 is one of 29 entities in Pennsylvania that provide direct special education instruction, among other services, to school districts. IU20 serves 13 school districts in Monroe, Northampton, and Pike counties.
The executive director of the intermediate unit, Charlene Brennan, told the paper that she was hopeful a strike could be averted. Lauri Lebo, a representative with the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said that a strike was a last resort, but was less hopeful that it could be averted. “Leadership is hoping talks will lead to a new contract, too, but there’s a lot of frustration,” she told the Morning Call.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.