More than 300,000 Chicago public school students had their classes canceled for a fourth day of school Monday as the clash between the CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union entered another week.
The two sites continued to meet on Monday evening, and although both sides reported signs of progress, it is still unclear whether classes will resume on Tuesday.
“Today’s negotiations have been productive,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a tweet around 6:50 pm. @ CTULocal1. We will notify parents, students and members of the public as soon as we can. “
CTU is keen to have the option to revert to district-wide distance education, and most members have refused to teach in person until there is an agreement or the last peak of COVID-19 is easing.
But Chicago leaders reject district-wide distance learning, saying it’s detrimental to students and schools are safe. Instead, CPS chose to cancel classes as a whole two days after the students returned from winter break.
The district, which views the fight as an “illegal walkout,” said it will allow more incentives for substitute teachers, provide KN95 masks to all teachers and students, and Illinois will provide about 350,000 d ‘antigen.
But the two sides remained at odds on key issues, including COVID-19 measures that will lead to individual school closings and compensation.
Since the start of the school year, some individual classes have temporarily switched to distance learning in the event of infection. But rejecting a large-scale return to distance learning, city health officials argue that most students headed into quarantine due to possible classroom exposure do not get COVID-19 . The district is piloting a “test-to-stay” program to reduce isolation times.
The union argues that the measures are insufficient, especially given the push fueled by the omicron that has shaken the return to work and classroom. He also criticized the district for not enrolling enough students in a testing program and an unreliable database on COVID-19 infections.