DC Schools To Begin Year Without Union Contract

Rhee says staff nearly complete

By Jim Iovino
|  Thursday, Aug 20, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 AM EDT
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Rhee Ready for Start of School Year

Michelle Rhee is all smiles before the start of the school year.

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Rhee Ready for Start of School Year

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee gives an update on the new school year.
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School starts Monday for children in the District, and Chancellor Michelle Rhee said all principals and most teachers are in place.

A new contract with the teachers' union, however, is not.

Rhee, who recently made Oprah Winfrey's Power List, said the District has hired all of the principals needed for the new school year, and only 18 vacancies remain among teaching positions. That's down from a high of about 800 open positions in May, Rhee said.

While staffing levels seem to be OK, there is still no new contract with the teachers' union after two years of negotiations.

"We are still in the midst of negotiations," Rhee said. "My team, the night before last, was in negotiations until almost 1 a.m. We're still trying very hard. We know the teachers want to know what the status of the contract is. We were pushing very hard to have something by the beginning of the school year. We weren't able to make that happen, but we're still in the midst of it.

Rhee said there are no major issues remaining in negotiations.

"We're just trying to slog through the secondary issues at this point," she said.

Parents and students should also be aware of new immunizations required for this year.  Click here for more information.

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