Chicago public schools went class-less for the second day in a row as the deadlock between teachers’ union and district officials continues with reference to the Covid-19 safety measures.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot furiously called it “unlawful, unilateral strike” by the Chicago police union – for refusing to vote for in-person learning till their demands regarding “enhanced coronavirus mitigations are implemented.” “If you care about our students, if you care about our families, as we do, we will not relent. Enough is enough. We are standing firm and we are going to fight to get our kids back to in-person learning. Period. Full stop,” Lightfoot said Wednesday, again insisting schools are safe despite spiking case numbers in the city. “We owe that to our children who suffered learning loss.”
The district declared that they are determined to begin in-person classes on Friday across Chicago.
“Some schools have enough staff reporting to work to return to in-person instruction as soon as Friday,” CPS said in a letter released late Wednesday. “Other schools have more limited capacity, and may provide learning packets and other materials for students to use during this illegal work stoppage.”
The union started a hashtag #lorilockout and tweeted on Wednesday that “it’s been inundated with calls and emails this morning from educators who say they’ve been unable to log into their CPS accounts to teach remotely,” as was the CTU’s stated intention.
Till late Wednesday it remained unclear whether the classes will be conducted in person or online on Thursday.
Lightfoot stated that she opposes any kind of plan of closing the Chicago schools system-wide and wants to have a hand on focus on handling the outbreaks from classroom to classroom.
Lightfoot also said “the union isn’t bargaining with enough urgency, a recurring criticism she’s made of the union — and vice versa — during the district’s labor disputes.”
“I will not allow them to take our children hostage. … Why are we here again when we know that the safest place for our children is in school? Why are we here again when we know that our schools are safe?” Lightfoot said, citing the school district’s spending on COVID mitigation strategies. The CTU voted 73% work remotely until a safety agreement is reached between the district and CTU.