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Dayton leaders praise tentative deal

DAYTON, Ohio (WRGT) - "Thank god it's over," said Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr.

"We're very pleased," Dayton Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Phil Parker said.

Tonight, city leaders are weighing in about a new deal, four days in the making.

"Our expectation was sit down and talk," Parker said. "Let's be clear. Let's give credit where credit is due. They did."

The chamber was vocal in the fight for workers and businesses.

"Let me make sure we all understand that the longer this could've gone, the larger the impact," he said.

This week, officials with Barry Staffing spoke publicly about concerns, hoping their input helped push a decision.

"One of the things that we have always been able to count on in those areas is the RTA," president Doug Barry said. "For the first time, we couldn't count on them."

Around 80 percent of his clients' employees rely on the RTA, but Dayton Public Schools is likely to benefit the most when buses start rolling.

"We tried to put together some plans, but the problem is capacity," Corr said.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of students were without transportation, attendance was down and parents were upset wondering why alternatives weren't planned before Monday.

"The issue with that is if we as the Dayton Public Schools were actually organizing it, then we would have to go through the entire process of getting paid people with background checks, fingerprinted," Corr added.

That option was too pricey for a short-term solution. Instead, DPS connected with community groups and churches that stepped up to shuttle students.

"We were hoping to use that service to get children to school," Corr said. "So we did have a backup plan."

The final deal still needs to be approved by both sides. A meeting is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the RTA is attempting to give back to customers who suffered throughout the strike. The rest of January will be "Pay What You Can" for riders, with the profits going to the Dayton Foodbank.

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