Catholic teachers reach deal

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will re-open 17 high schools today after teachers approved a new contract yesterday, ending a nine-day strike.

The Association of Catholic Teachers voted 589 to 41 in favor of the three-year deal. The agreement gives teachers security, while phasing in many of the changes the archdiocese had sought.

“When you’re trying to make very necessary changes, we all pay the price for that because this is a contract now and for the future,” said Secretary of Catholic Education Richard McCarron. According to the Archdiocese, as part of the agreement all teachers will be required to use the online course management system.

The archdiocese will also implement national technology standards for teaching and will be able to hire part-time teachers to expand course offerings. Teachers will now work for 190 days, up from 187, and the instructional period will be lengthened next year.

“Our teachers could not be happier to head back,” said ACT President Rita Schwartz. Students will have to make up the four days missed, but it is not clear exactly when.

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