Medford, OR -

Talks in the Medford teachers strike have broken off, and attendance has fallen below 50 percent.

The Medford Mail Tribune reports that bargaining ended Thursday evening without a definite time to resume. Both sides said there's a chance they will meet with a state mediator Tuesday.

Union President Cheryl Lashley said the school board is fixated on winning a three-year contract, which teachers don't want. Superintendent Phil Long said teachers have made only an insubstantial effort at compromise.

The strike began last week, and schools were reopened Tuesday with substitute teachers, half day-schedules and attendance at 68 percent. That fell to 52 percent Wednesday and 48 percent Thursday.

At North Medford High School, dozens of students stood on picket lines with teachers, and the attendance rate was 36 percent.