Yesterday was the first day of school for the kids. Garrett went off to pre-k and was thrilled to death to find a Woody & a Jessie from the Toy Story movies in his classroom. I sure do hope the other kids don't care about Woody & Jessie because I have a feeling Garrett probably didn't put them down. His second day was today, slightly more aprehensive about going & staying in his classroom, though his teacher got him involved in putting his crayons in his pencil box and I was able to slowly back out of the room. I anticipate problems tomorrow. Natalie should be in the first grade this year, but since the teachers in this school district (that would be the SOUDERTON SCHOOL DISTRICT IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA) are all a bunch of lame-os and have opted to strike this year, her school year has not officially started. She gets to play all day long with the YMCA Kids Kare program being held at her school. It's disappointing, because she is SO excited to begin first grade, and this is just prolonging it for her. The longest our horribly underpaid teachers can be out for is 3 1/2 weeks before non-binding arbitration goes into effect thus forcing them to return to the classroom, contract or not. I have a feeling they're going to be out for that time frame, only because contract talks broke down after 6 hours on Monday and no new negoitation meetings have been scheduled. It seems as though the teachers here in this district would like to be paid on par with the average teacher in Montgomery County. It does not seem as though they are taking into consideration the differences in the tax base here, compared to the other surrounding school districts. This community is mostly residential, and of all the new development in these parts, it is primarly residential, with a strong concentration of 55 + communities. In order to pay the teachers the average going rate, we're talking about an 8% increase each year for 5 years, which amounts to something like $25K at the entry level. The school board proposed a much more moderate 2 1/2 % raise, which was naturally balked at, and here we are. While 2 1/2% is not at all 8%, if my employer was willing to offer me that raise each year, for 5 years, I'd take it!