Teachers in Marquette were trying to rally support ahead of more contract negotiations at Monday's school board meeting. Before the meeting, teachers carrying signs drew the attention of passing motorists. Inside the Kaufman Auditorium those in the crowd heard an update from Superintendent Bill Saunders. He outlined the school district's budget concerns including rising retirement costs and falling enrollment numbers. The teachers and their negotiators say that's not the case.
"The district is doing very well financially, and we're glad for that. We want the district to be fiscally responsible and they are, they're in excellent financial condition and that's a good thing," said Fred Cole, MEA Negotiator. "The teachers are here for the long haul; we're invested in this community and these students. We're here for the kids."
The board entered into closed session after public comment at the meeting, but no deal was reached. Both sides are hoping to reach an agreement soon.
"We look forward to continuing talks. We remain hopeful that we can reach a deal that is in the best interest of both the teachers and taxpayers in the community," said Rich Rossway, Marquette School Board President. Another mediation meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.