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Article updated: 8/1/2013 5:41 PM

Parents, students rally before Dist. 15 arbitration hearing

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Several parents and students gathered Thursday morning outside the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 administrative offices before an arbitration hearing was set to begin on the controversial late start/early release scheduling plan.

They support the board of education's earlier vote to release students early on Fridays to accommodate weekly professional development time among teachers. A District 15 survey showed that was the option favored by the vast majority of parents.

The Classroom Teachers' Council filed a labor grievance claiming the district and board violated the union's contract, which called for a late start option rather than early dismissal, to allow for the training time unless there was "overwhelming opposition by parents."

A number of administrators, teachers and parents were expected to be called as witnesses at the hearing, which was closed to the public.

The independent arbitrator's ruling isn't expected until late September. Due to the arbitration process, the teachers union and the district agreed to delay implementing scheduling changes until January.

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