The back-and-forth over Sweetwater Union High School District teachers’ contract continues: The teachers union is planning a rally Wednesday, the same day that the school district and the union will meet for a hearing with a panel to determine the facts and decide the next steps. Their slogans have grown more pointed over time: Teachers now hoist signs reading, “I don’t want to strike, but I will!”

The two sides have sparred over increased class sizes and proposed changes to teachers’ benefits since the last contract expired last June. Teachers have also petitioned for the removal of Superintendent Jesus Gandara. The school district has argued that the changes are necessary to survive the budget crisis imposed by California and that Gandara has been targeted unfairly because of the budget strain.


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