Standoff between Chicago Public Schools and teachers continues

Henrietta Strickland
February 4, 2021

The arbitrator did find that two schools should not reopen until coronavirus safety issues are resolved and building walkthroughs are conducted.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is blaming former President Trump's administration for the impasse between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union over resuming in-person classes. Monday evening, right on the eve of the lockout and possible strike, Mayor Lightfoot backed down yet again and announced that the lockouts would not happen today and that for the next 48 hours talks would continue to happen and classes would remain remote.

Stopping short of naming Trump, Lightfoot said the standoff between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) over whether teachers should return to classrooms this week was "because of the incompetence of the previous administration". CPS disputed CTU's claims and said that they had already outlined clear guidelines for vaccinations and health metric for teachers.

The vast majority of Chicago students who attend city schools, almost 400,000 in all, have not received in-person instruction since schools were closed at the beginning of the pandemic last spring.

"The WTU, however, believes there are other safety violations of its memorandum of agreement with DCPS and unhealthy conditions at multiple schools".

In fact, students kindergarten through eighth grade were scheduled to return to in-person learning on Monday. The teachers have been fighting to keep schools operating remotely until a time when CPS offers a plan for in-person learning that is safe for students, staff and teachers. The school district had threatened to lock teachers out of remote learning if they didn't show up to school yesterday. The line in the proverbial sand has been drawn: Teachers' unions are not allies of parents or students, but appeared to focus more on maximizing their paychecks at the expense of student learning and academic achievement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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