BY ANDREW GOLDSTEIN
The Pittsburgh Public Schools district’s plan to open for in-person instruction five days a week got a major boost Monday as members of the city’s teachers union ratified a contract that includes a provision giving district officials the power to adjust school start and end times.
The issue became a flashpoint in negotiations as the district sought the ability to modify the times so that school buses could run extra routes in the morning and afternoon — providing transportation to thousands of city students who may have not had a ride to school otherwise — but the union initially fought back against the idea.
“We’re hopeful that the district is able to get many students back in their seats,” Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said in an interview at the union offices on the South Side. “This was a very difficult part of the contract, but we’re hoping to bring lots of students back, and that this will be something that we continue to work on together.”
The contract will now go before the school board Wednesday night for final approval.