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Parents relieved at news of deal to end Columbus teachers' strike

Student  embraces striking school staff member
Ashley McCarthy
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Ashley McCarthy
Student Avery McCarthy (right) on the picket line with her speech pathologist Jane Adams (left).

The exact terms of the deal struck between the Columbus school board and the teachers' union early Thursday morning are still unknown but many Columbus City School parents are cheering the development.

Ashley McCarthy's daughter, Avery, is starting first grade at Sullivant Elementary. On Wednesday, the mother and daughter visited the picket line to support her teacher and some of the staff that has worked with her in the past few years.

McCarthy said online school just doesn't work for Avery, who has autism and is nonverbal. She was thrilled to wake up on Thursday and learn about the contract deal that will get her daughter and teacher back into the classroom starting next week.

"It genuinely put tears in my eyes when I saw that there was an agreement and that they would be going back on Monday," she said.

Jeff Konczal has two kids in the school district and he said he was glad the strike didn't last too long.

"You know, three days to help the teachers get the needed changes for the district done. I'll take three days...to support the teachers," he said. "So I'm okay with everything that happened."

Students will continue with remote learning through Friday. The union plans to hold a vote on the contract over the weekend. The school board would then need to ratify it.

Matthew Rand is a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides with Ann Fisher.