ANDERSON, Ind. — UPDATE: Anderson Community Schools are back open Thursday.
Anderson Community Schools were closed for a third day Wednesday, with no option for e-learning because they don't have enough teachers. The district is struggling to find a compromise with teachers who want higher pay and lower insurance premiums. In the meantime, parents are concerned their child is caught in the middle.
Around 100 teachers in the district called off each day since Friday.
13News spoke to a parent who used to work at Erskine Elementary and didn't want to be identified. She found out halfway through the day Tuesday her child's teacher wasn't at school. Another staffer was teaching the student because of a lack of teachers.
"They were just babysitters, glorified babysitters. They weren't learning, they weren't teaching," the parent said.
Students learned online Friday because of staffing. Wednesday, the district closed altogether.
"I absolutely love them [teachers]. I don't want them [students] to lose a teacher that actually cares about them," the parent told 13News.
Teachers are sending a message, demanding lower insurance premiums.
"I am backing them 100%. They deserve what they need to be paid for, and if they're not going to get it from here, guess what? They're going to move to a different district. I don't want that to happen, I don't."
In response, the district proposed $2,000 more in pay and $10,000 in stipends over the next couple of years.
"It should be more. It really should be more, like at least 8 to 10% more," said the parent.
The district, Anderson Federation of Teachers and the state will meet on Thursday.
Superintendent Dr. Joe Cronk released the following statement:
"We are disappointed that these teachers are choosing to do this as it hurts our parents and students. We are appreciative of the vast majority of staff that have continued coming to work as we continue the bargaining process with the Anderson Federation of Teachers."
As of now, the district does plan to hold school on Thursday. However, Anderson Schools could be closed again because it still has a relatively low number of teachers.