The Association of Catholic Teachers broke off negotiations with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia early Tuesday, Sept. 6, after little progress was made in weekend negotiating sessions.

The association’s team walked away from the table with significant issues not agreed upon. According to a statement released by the archdiocesan Office for Communications, many of the issues presented to the association by the archdiocesan team in mid-August have received no response.

Negotiations began in March 2011.

“The Archdiocese made multiple concessions in its proposals and believes the contract offered to the teachers is equitable,” the statement read. “It is our hope that our teachers will recognize that a strike is not in their best interest and most certainly not in the best interest of our students and their families.”

Parents of Catholic school students received a letter Sept. 2 from Dr. Richard McCarron, secretary for Catholic Education, and Mary E. Rochford, superintendent of schools.

“In order to advance the mission of Catholic education and our schools, we must be conscious of the educational changes that need to be implemented in a timely manner,” the administrators wrote. “Each year in the life of a student requires a curriculum and learning experience that will prove beneficial to the future success of that student. We cannot simply wait for changes in working conditions with the rapid advancement in so many areas of education such as the speed of technology and the tools that support a 21st century learning experience.”

Teachers were expected to vote to approve a new agreement or to go out on strike at a meeting on Tuesday.

(For background on this issue see our Aug. 31 story.)