Opinion
Education Opinion

Chicago Teachers Are Now On Strike

By Marilyn Rhames — September 09, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

After months of negotiations and threats, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced that teachers will be striking on Monday.

Lewis stated at a 10 p.m. press conference tonight that numerous unresolved issues led to the union’s decision to walk out of contract negotiations. Among them, Lewis stated, were the need for “wrap-around services” that include more social workers in schools, a distrust of the new teacher evaluation system that uses student standardized test results, and the demand that laid- off teachers get priority placement into open positions within the school district. She said all of the union demands would need to be addressed.

In a press conference tonight, Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated that the district’s offered an “honorable deal, an honest compromise.” He said there were only two outstanding issues, teacher evaluations and the role of principals in hiring. Emanuel said these two issues are not legally strikeable because they don’t involve salaries. He said the district offered teachers a 16 percent raise over four years.

“I believe this is avoidable; it’s a strike of choice,” Emanuel said.

For the first time in 25 years, district teachers will be on strike. More than 400,000 students will be affected; some 26,000 teachers and school staff will be striking.

Parents who had held out hope that district officials and union leaders would work out their differences are now scrambling to figure out what they will do with their children during school hours.

Tomorrow, the district will implement it’s “Children First” contingency plan, which includes 144 sites that will serve the children breakfast and lunch—but no academic instruction.

A just-released press release by the district reads: “Parents who do not have access to alternative options can sign up their children for a Children First site, and are encouraged to do so ahead of time to ensure staff at the site are prepared to meet the students’ needs. All CPS students have been assigned a designated site in their community that is not necessarily their regular school.”

Transportation will not be provided by the district.

“The choice by the leadership of the Chicago Teachers Union to strike is an incredible burden on our families and children ... " said CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. “While we can provide a safe and engaging environment for students most in need, it is not a substitute for being in class with their teachers, where our students really belong. We are committed to working with the CTU, as we have for the past few months, to find a solution that is fair for our teachers and keeps our kids in class.”

Parents can sign-up online using their student’s ID number by visiting www.cps.edu/childrenfirst. Parents without access to the Internet can call 311 or visit their local library to sign-up their child.

The opinions expressed in Charting My Own Course are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP