CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago Public Schools students will be learning by remote again Friday as CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union continue to negotiate over returning to in-person learning.
Both sides will head back into mediation again Friday. The CTU said while there has been some progress in talks, several issues are holding up an agreement.
Among them, the CTU said CPS has rejected adopting CDC health metrics to determine if schools can re-open safely. They also want a phased re-opening of schools as teachers get vaccinated and weekly rapid testing of teachers and students.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot weighed in on Chicago Tonight.
“In the last week alone, we’ve given them two different comprehensive plans. One plan, which we updated, and we’ve given them, I think that covers every single issue,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “So we’re serious and we’re going to remain at the table, but we’ve got to see some progress a seriousness of purpose on the other side.”
The CTU said progress is being made on cleaning protocols, masking and ventilation that could lead to a deal.
Educators have voted to remain remote until an agreement is landed, but the mayor is steadfast on getting K through 8 students back in classrooms on Monday.
Both sides agree that a strike would be devastating.
The roughly 355,000-student district, which turned to full-time online instruction last March because of the pandemic, has gradually welcomed students back. Thousands of pre-kindergarten and special education students resumed in-person learning earlier this month, and teachers who didn’t return to their classrooms were punished.
CPS teachers were all eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, but they are not scheduled to begin getting it until February.
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