Sep
08

Parents Should Prepare for a Chicago Teacher Strike

September 08, 2012

After a long summer, your kids just got out of your real estate in Chicago to start school, but come Monday morning, they might have no classes to attend as the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) has said it will go on strike after midnight on Sunday if its labor contract isn’t in place.

Chicago public school teacher strikeWhat are working parents to do?

Chicago Public School officials are telling parents to make alternate plans for their children, though there is a plan in place if there is a strike come Monday morning:

*Approximately 144 schools or “Children First” sites will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

*There will be no instruction, so students will spend time independently reading, writing, doing art and playing sports. Some sites will offer computer time as well.

*Students will receive breakfast and lunch.

*Those on staff will be non-CTU employees.

The Chicago Public School (CPS) system is the third-largest school district in the country, servicing 403,000 students in 675 schools. To get your student into one of the 144 sites that will be open during a strike, parents must register and save a spot.

Visit cps.edu/childrenfirst with your child’s student identification number. Parents without access to the Internet can call 311.

CPS is also working with City Sister Agencies for extra help in case of a strike, including the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Fire and Police Departments.

CTU, which represents more than 26,000 Chicago Public School teachers and staff, has been working without a contract since June. CPS and CTU representatives have been trying to reach a deal since November of last year, but the sides can’t agree on pay raises, longer school days and a new curriculum.

CPS teachers haven’t gone on strike since 1987. Let’s hope they don’t in 2012, either.

“Everyone knows that a strike would only hurt our kids. They can’t afford to be removed from the classroom just as they’re making progress with the new full school day,” said Jean-Claude Brizard, CEO of the CPS. “That’s why we’ll continue to meet every day until we reach a fair resolution for our teachers and avoid any disruption to our kids’ school year.

“If CTU leadership decides to strike, we will be prepared to provide our students with the services they need to keep them fed and in a safe environment with positive activities.”

Categories: Economy, Education

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