WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Current and former DCPS educators testified about the issues they are navigating within the public school system on Tuesday, as they continued to work towards a new contract.

“D.C. has one of the highest rates of turnover in the country,” said Councilmember Robert White.

Teachers brought up issues like the high cost of living, unsafe conditions and more.

“I never got a dedicated substitute,” said Kathleen Coughlin.

The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) has been waiting for an arbitrator to make a decision on a contract with the city, which may result in an increase in pay for teachers.

“Without a contract, we have no hope on improving our school system,” said WTU President Jacqueline Pogue Lyons.

Members of the city council are calling for more information about educators’ professional experience, years of service, demographic data and more.

Not everyone is on board with that proposal.

“OSSE already collects that information, it would be costly and burdensome,” Minatra Martin said.

Chairman Phil Mendelson says the council does not have a say in the contract negotiations between the city and the teachers’ union.

The teachers’ union is scheduled to rally on Thursday at 7:00 a.m.