Teacher strike gives 6K Illinois kids month off from school

Negotiators in the southwestern Illinois city of East St. Louis are trying to end a teacher strike that has kept more than 6,000 students from the classroom since the start of October.
    
The teachers went on strike Oct. 1 after union members rejected a tentative deal between their representatives and the district. It would have given each teacher a one-time payment of $2,000 and modest raises, but also would have nearly doubled the amount of time before a teacher would qualify for a top-scale salary, to 21 years.
    
The sides were meeting Tuesday to discuss a district offer that would reduce that top-scale wait, but there are no signs that they are close to a deal.
    
The district says it needs to save $10 million over the next 10 years.

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