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Substitute Teachers Ready in Medford

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Medford schools are closed today (Monday, February 10) as substitute teachers called in from throughout the state get ready to cross the picket lines tomorrow.

Medford teachers have been on strike since Thursday. The subs met with Medford Schools administrators for more than five hours yesterday.

Buses hauling in the substitutes from two hotels were greeted by about 150 picketers, according to Medford police. Superintendent Phil Long said more were expected to arrive today, and  he declined to say how many are already on hand.

The Medford Mail Tribune reports that Long said there will be an initial check-in with a mediator Tuesday afternoon, but bargaining won't resume until Wednesday morning.

Preliminary classroom assignments were handed out Sunday, Long said. Regular teachers showing up won't be replaced.

Subs from the Portland Metro area, Josephine County, the coast, and central and eastern Oregon — all with teaching experience — had their credentials reviewed and went through a drug screening that took longer than expected and delayed their exit from school property.

Starting tomorrow, schools will open on a half-day schedule.