There is tension in the Poland School District as the next step in contract negotiations remains unknown. 

Around the township, signs are posted in yards saying, "We Support Poland Teachers".

At a school board meeting Monday night, there was a large turnout; including some teachers from Boardman to show their support.

The meeting included a 45-minute presentation on the district's financial forecast. The presentation touched on the district's success towards paying off debt, but also noted the declining enrollment and unknown factors that could come with a new Ohio governor.

"We still have work to do," said treasurer Janet Muntean.

Before the public had a chance to speak, the board president addressed the elephant in the room and said that currently negotiations had come to an impasse and a federal mediator was now involved.

"If and when called by the mediator, the board is prepared to meet to continue efforts to get a contract," said board president Elinor Zedaker.

Zedaker emphasized that although the teacher's union does not have a new contract, they are still working under the terms of their previous contract. Including its benefits.

Zedaker also noted that the average teacher's salary in the district is just under $60,000 per year.

"Poland teachers have been and will continue to be among the most competitive in the area by our offer," said Zedaker.

When it came time for public comment though, some felt teachers weren't being offered a fair deal.

"The district's teachers deserve to be treated as more than another cost line to be minimized," said one person.

"We're shelling out money like we have it, but when it comes to negotiations they don't have the money," said another person.

The teacher's union said they were offered base salary freezes or a raise that was less than the increase in the cost of living.

The union has authorized its leaders to issue a strike notice if they feel it becomes necessary.