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IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. — An impasse in contract negotiations sent hundreds of teachers and supporters to the South Bay Union School District.

The teachers are demanding more pay, less students in classrooms and most importantly more special education teachers.

“Salary increase, we are very close, but we are very far when it comes to student supports,” said Vanessa Barrera, the lead negotiator for the Southwestern Teachers Association.

There have been eight contract negotiations with the district and union members inching closer together, but both parties have laid down their best and final offers creating an impasse.

“After 26 years, this is by far the most challenging year of my teaching career,” said Silvia Miranda, a first grade teacher.

Miranda says her students have been rattled by the pandemic learning and are farther behind then most people could imagine with some of her students going to school for the very first time.

The district officials declined to speak with FOX 5 on camera, but did say they have made an offer that substantially boosts pay.

After reaching an impasse, negotiators will attempt to use a mediator to resolve the issues, but if that fails, union members are trying to plan for a potential strike.