Capistrano Unified attendance sinks during teachers' strike

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[Updated] Capistrano Unified teachers union officials have reported talks have ceased for today, adding they will resume Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Officials said Capistrano teachers are still on strike and if no settlement is reached this weekend, teachers will resume walking the picket lines Monday.

Student attendance at the Capistrano Unified School District plummeted today, the second day of a districtwide teachers strike.

The district’s six high schools were ghost towns. Ninety percent of high school students didn’t show up to class. Attendance wasn’t a whole lot better at middle schools. More than three-fourths of students didn’t show. At elementary schools, just over half the students were absent.

Picketing teachers at some campuses urged parents to keep their kids at home. Some parents who support the teachers’ strike said they were worried about how much learning was going on in classrooms with substitute teachers. A spokeswoman said the school district hired 593 substitutes to keep all 56 campuses open.

Capistrano Unified teachers are on strike to make a permanent 10.1 percent salary cut that the school board imposed to help close a large budget deficit a temporary measure.