After being out of class for more than two weeks, roughly 10,000 students in the Scranton School District will be going back to school Wednesday morning.
At a meeting Tuesday afternoon, teachers overwhelming approved a new tentative contract deal that was hammered out late Monday night.
The voting by the teachers was done by secret ballot.
The vote wasn’t unanimous but the president of the Scranton Federation of Teachers says it did pass overwhelmingly.
The two-year deal calls for step movement raises for teachers but they will also see an increase in their health insurance deductibles.
“It’s about time!” parent Andrea Wharton of South Scranton said.
Andrea Wharton of South Scranton is a parent of two children.
During the strike she has been helping to feed hot lunches to about 50 kids in her community each day.
Those kids seem eager to get back to learning.
“I want to see my friends again and talk to them, see them,” 7th grader Eiden Wharton said.
The teachers’ strike began on Friday, September 25th after school.
Sports and other activities were put off during the strike but they can now resume.
With classes ready to start again Wednesday morning, many students are happy.
“I’m actually kind of happy because we haven’t been there in a while and I kind of miss it a little, school work and stuff, I can’t believe I’m actually saying that!” 7th grade student Inez Martinez said.
For parents who have dealt with childcare issues and more importantly just getting kids into a routine, the strike has posed its challenges.
“The first couple days my son, he was struggling,” parent Yajaira Lopez of Scranton said. “He was actually sad and upset that they didn’t get to go to school.”
Students spent a total of 11 days out of the classroom.
That time will have to be made up, whether it’s extending the school year or shortening holiday vacations.
High school junior Sarah Sites hopes it isn’t the latter.
“I can’t do anything about it. I wish I could. I love my vacations!” Sites said.
The tentative new contract that was approved by teachers on Tuesday afternoon must still also be approved by the Scranton School Board itself.
That vote is expected to come at a special meeting Thursday night.