[Editor's note: This report was last updated at 4:36 p.m. Wednesday to reflect comments from a parent who says her children have been caught in the crossfire.]
It's no secret there's – teachers and guidance counselors.
Both sides acknowledge the lack of a settled contract can be a distraction; . Educators were budgeted a zero percent increase this current budget year with increased givebacks in health benefits. It's the only way to make the budget work, officials said.
In a conversation with Patch at the Monday night protest, guidance counselor Michael Mullin said although educators are frustrated with the stalemate, they're trying to mitigate the impacts to the community.
"You still have a bunch of professionals that are handling the classroom instruction – that's their job and they're going to do it as best they can do," Mullin said. "Are there levels of frustration in dealing with the situation? Yeah, because they want to work to the best of their abilities but now the question becomes, 'how much extra time should we be giving?'"
A parent who has kids in elementary school and middle school said her children have felt the brunt of the contract dispute.
Both children – one classified with an IEP – requested math homework help but were turned away by their respective teachers, she said in an e-mail to Patch on the condition of anonymity.
The dispute has caused unfortunate confusion for her kids, said the Ridgewood resident, who added that she pays $20,000 in school taxes annually.
"We LOVE their teachers but we are very frustrated that our children are paying the price – it's not their fault," she said.
Most of the educators historically have given "unlimited" extra time, according to the Mullin, though that's certainly changed this year.
Other teachers, who declined to be identified, acknowledged they're cutting back on the time they give.
"I no longer stay until 4:30 helping students with homework everyday," said one high school teacher.
Clearly things have changed this year due to the frayed negotiations. If education is about the children, here's the question posed – how, if at all, has the dispute affected your child's education?
Take the poll and share your thoughts/observations in the comments.