PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Public School Board approved the purchase of 15 school buses and an agreement with an independent contractor to redesign a program at Manual High School Monday night.

Many are still asking questions about the possible teacher strike. This is if an agreement is not reached between the Peoria Federation of Teachers and Peoria Public Schools.

Superintendent, Dr. Sharon Kherat, said they will meet with the mediator again on Thursday. She said the last meeting went until 1:45 a.m.

“Hopefully we get somewhere by Thursday, but we are optimistic,” said Dr. Kherat.

The board approved the purchase of 15 used school buses, which will cost more than $1 million. Dr. Kherat said the purchase is for restocking and maintenance purposes.

The board also approved an agreement with an independent contractor to redesign the Career Pathways program at Manual High School.

The program currently offers manufacturing training and jobs at Caterpillar.

Dr. Kherat said it’s been such a success, that they want to provide more fields that will give students the chance to experience possible future jobs.

“Not only are we implementing another career pathway at Manual or two, but also getting businesses on board to agree to hire students. It’s kind of like that co-op idea where students are going to school part of the time and going to work part of the time,” said Dr. Kherat.

The 2022-2023 school year will be used for planning and gathering data.

“We hope to enroll students during the 2023-2024 school year,” said Dr. Kherat.

The Career Pathways Program at Manual will be available for other students in District 150.