By Terry Dean
Teacher contract talks at Oak Park elementary school District 97 will enter their eighth month, with the next bargaining session between administration, board and faculty union set for Aug. 4.
Negotiations began in January, with all three sides meeting in closed talks throughout the spring. The most recent 5-year contract — signed in 2008 but extended in 2011 for an additional year — expired June 30. The district announced late last spring that talks would likely extend into June.
With talks continuing into August, the prospect appears likely of a deal being reached around the time students and faculty return for the upcoming school year appears. It's also likely given that the district's roughly 480 faculty would have to vote on any deal for its ratification.
Teachers are expected back early to mid August. The first day of school is Aug. 25.