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Pittsburgh Public Schools Teachers to Strike Friday

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Months of negotiations between Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers (PFT) have failed and teachers will go on strike Friday, March 2. As Pittsburgh public school teachers head out to strike, A+ Schools wants families to make plans for childcare now. This is truly regrettable as a strike right now sets back children’s learning and the progress that many educators are making in classrooms across the city.

“We strongly encourage both the district and the teacher’s union to sit down and work this out right now,” said James Fogarty, A+ Schools Executive Director. “There is no reason these talks should have led to a strike. Get back to the bargaining table and do what’s right for families and students.”

As we wait for the two sides to reach agreement, families are left to grapple with difficult choices as they prepare for the fact that over 24,000 students from Pre-K to 12th grade have very few options of where to go during the school day. This strike will cripple working families including those who lack access to quality childcare, and those who rely on schools to feed their children during the day and keep them safe.

For the past several weeks, A+ Schools and its community partners have been working to compile a list of organizations and programs that have extended their services to assist families and students during the day. That list can be accessed here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1bZxz2TQREtIuMP3XqK1sxyctMr4ddzC1xGVzzOsjRw0/edit?usp=sharing

Additionally, Flexable, a childcare organization, created a map with locations that provide childcare: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1JTp4_M_winOFZzz3tKI4Ic5OrRHyWPKE&usp=sharing.

Families and caregivers should contact these organizations immediately to ask about enrollment and capacity.

The city of Pittsburgh has partnered with the school district to open its recreation centers to provide breakfast and lunch to students during the strike. A list of locations will be posted at: pghschools.org/collectivebargaining. The food service list is also accessible via the first link provided above.

The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s 2-1-1 information line will have information about family and student resources that are available during the strike.

We are struggling as a city and district to provide quality education to all students and a strike only exacerbates the achievement challenges we already face.

A+ Schools remains committed to the families and students impacted by the strike. Our hope is that PPS and PFT put families and students first too and get back to work to solving the most pressing needs facing our kids in their schools.