MCDONALD, Ohio (WKBN) – Public frustration has been building in one Trumbull County community over a very public and drawn-out contract negotiation between McDonald’s school board and its teachers. At a school board meeting Wednesday night, residents had a chance to vent their concerns.
Over 200 people squeezed into the library at McDonald High School, wanting to send a message to their school board to do right by their children. Many among them wore shirts in support of the district’s teachers.
“I think that it is a testament to, that the people in this community care and they want what’s best for the children,” said Staci Conley of the McDonald Education Association.
Others in the community stood behind their teachers, filling up the school’s library to well over capacity.
“We are here to show our solidarity and support for the union and to show that we are a united force,” Conley said.
The crowd showed its displeasure over the drawn-out contract talks and pointed out how the school board found money for their own raises first.
“One-and-a-half years into your job as a superintendent — way before you negotiate for a teaching contract — and I commend you, it was a record-setting contract,” one community member said.
Another concern was the inaction on spending money earmarked for improvements to the district’s athletic facilities.
“A six-lane track, a throwing discus area, a shot put — everything, right where it stands. It’s going to save you a whole lot more money,” another attendee said.
Many in the community have reached their limit and a few had a message for the members of the school board.
“You don’t vote for them, you don’t give a vote because that’s a vote of confidence and right now, we’re lacking confidence,” the same attendee said.
Before the meeting was over, there were still over 20 people waiting to speak to the board.
Tuesday night’s hours-long mediation session yielded no results. The teachers opted to extend their previous contract by one month in hopes of reaching a deal.
There is no word on how close the two sides are to an agreement.