Chicago schools still closed while negotiations persist
The Chicago Teachers Union and the district are continuing talks over COVID-19 protocols as Mayor Lori Lightfoot keeps the school buildings open for meal pickup. Chicago Public Schools canceled classes the past four school days as teachers refused to report to work. The union voted last week to move to online instruction in light of growing numbers of COVID-19 infections, but the district said children need to be in school. Both parties filed unfair labor practices complaints, which means one or both might face the state labor board.
What do teachers want? The union proposed beginning online classes last Wednesday and tentatively resuming in-person classes on Jan. 18 unless the surge subsides or the requirements for closing schools changes. The union is also requesting increased COVID-19 testing. The district argues online learning is detrimental to students’ health and the schools are safe. Officials called the strike an “illegal work stoppage.”
Dig deeper: Read Lauren Dunn’s report in Schooled on students’ struggles with at-home learning.
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