News Update

Chicago Public Schools still closed to in-person learning, COVID protocol negotiations continue

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For the fourth school day in a row, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) were closed to in-person learning Monday as CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) did not reach an agreement on addressing the current surge in COVID-19 over the weekend. Last week, the union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge. In a Sunday statement, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said “there has not been sufficient progress for” for a return to in-person learning to happen.

“A small number of schools are planning to offer in-person activities for students on Monday,” Martinez said in the statement. “This depends on several factors, including the number of staff that each school has reporting to work and what steps must be taken to ensure student safety.”

Last week, union leaders said more safety protocols were needed because the COVID-19 surge was causing staffing shortages. The district said about 82% of its roughly 21,600 teachers reported to work last Monday, which is lower than usual.

“COVID-19 testing remains a sticking point between the two sides, as the mayor has described opt-out COVID-19 testing as ‘morally repugnant,'” the union said in a Monday news release. “The union is proposing that CPS implement a COVID-19 screening test program that allows students to opt out, and that, on a randomized basis, tests at least 10 percent of the student and staff population every week at every school and CPS worksite.”

The union also wants the option to revert to districtwide remote instruction when the city sees a surge in cases. Chicago leaders argue this union request is detrimental to students, and Chicago schools are safe.

“What we know from our own experience, from our data, from studies that have been done of our system over and over again and other systems operating within the city of Chicago, across the country and across the world, that the safest place for kids to be in the pandemic is in person in our schools,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week. “That has not changed.”

Gwen Baumgardner: FOR THE FOURTH CONSECUTIVE SCHOOL DAY — STUDENTS IN CHICAGO’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAD TO LEARN FROM HOME.
THE DISTRICT IS CURRENTLY NEGOTIATING WITH THE TEACHERS UNION ON HOW TO HANDLE A RECENT SURGE IN COVID CASES.IN A SUNDAY NIGHT STATEMENT — C-P-S CEO PEDRO MARTINEZ SAID THERE HAS *NOT BEEN SUFFICIENT PROGRESS ON NEGOTIATIONS TO RETURN TO CLASS.
THE UNION WANTS TO KEEP REMOTE LEARNING IN PLACE UNTIL SAFETY PROTOCOLS ARE INCREASED — OR NEW CASES SUBSIDE.
LAST WEEK — MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT SAID CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE SAFE.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot: “What we know from our own experience, from our data, from studies that have been done of our system over and over again and other systems operating within the city of Chicago, across the country and across the world, that the safest place for kids to be in the pandemic is in person in our schools. That has not changed.”
Gwen Baumgardner: ACCORDING TO A MONDAY STATEMENT FROM THE UNION — TESTING PROTOCOLS REMAINS A STICKING POINT IN THE NEGOTIATIONS.
THE UNION WANTS THE DISTRICT TO IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM THAT TESTS AT LEAST 10 PERCENT OF STUDENTS AND STAFF AT EACH SCHOOL.

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For the fourth school day in a row, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) were closed to in-person learning Monday as CPS and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) did not reach an agreement on addressing the current surge in COVID-19 over the weekend. Last week, the union voted to switch to remote learning due to the surge. In a Sunday statement, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said “there has not been sufficient progress for” for a return to in-person learning to happen.

“A small number of schools are planning to offer in-person activities for students on Monday,” Martinez said in the statement. “This depends on several factors, including the number of staff that each school has reporting to work and what steps must be taken to ensure student safety.”

Last week, union leaders said more safety protocols were needed because the COVID-19 surge was causing staffing shortages. The district said about 82% of its roughly 21,600 teachers reported to work last Monday, which is lower than usual.

“COVID-19 testing remains a sticking point between the two sides, as the mayor has described opt-out COVID-19 testing as ‘morally repugnant,'” the union said in a Monday news release. “The union is proposing that CPS implement a COVID-19 screening test program that allows students to opt out, and that, on a randomized basis, tests at least 10 percent of the student and staff population every week at every school and CPS worksite.”

The union also wants the option to revert to districtwide remote instruction when the city sees a surge in cases. Chicago leaders argue this union request is detrimental to students, and Chicago schools are safe.

“What we know from our own experience, from our data, from studies that have been done of our system over and over again and other systems operating within the city of Chicago, across the country and across the world, that the safest place for kids to be in the pandemic is in person in our schools,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said last week. “That has not changed.”

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