Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Teachers Union president Jesse Sharkey speaks at a rally outside of an elementary school where striking teachers picketed, in Chicago on Oct. 22, 2019. (Photo credit: Teresa Crawford/AP/Shutterstock)

Chicago Public Schools Closed Friday for Teachers’ Strike, Might Open Monday

The public schools in Chicago remained closed Friday because of a weeklong teachers’ strike for more manageable class sizes and better staffing. So far, the teachers’ union and the school district have failed to reach an agreement, the Associated Press reported, but  both hope to reach an agreement so classes can restart on Monday.

Chicago Public Schools is the third-largest school district in the country.

On Thursday, both the teachers’ union and Chicago Public Schools said they had made progress but are disagreeing on major sticking points, such as more manageable class sizes and better staffing of nurses, librarians and social workers.

The union wants the school district to commit, in writing, to its demands. But the school district says it may not be able to afford it.

The strike has been going on since Oct. 17, when 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike, the Associated Press reported. More than 300,000 students have not been going to school because of it.

Related Article: Black Elementary School Teacher in New Jersey Quits Due to ‘Hostile’ Treatment, Told ‘White is Always Right’

Chicago Public Schools does not have a strike fund to help compensate teachers and staff who are protesting, so thousands of educators are going without pay.

A consequence of the strikes is the future of many student-athletes. If the strike continues, many won’t be able to play in state competitions. But a parent of a sophomore cross country team member requested a temporary restraining order in Cook County Court to allow the Jones College Prep team to compete in state playoffs this weekend, according to the Associated Press.

Attorney Kevin Sterling told the Associated Press that student-athletes have become “collateral damage” in the strike.

But the teachers’ union doesn’t seem ready to break. On Thursday, the union trained the demonstrators in nonviolent civil disobedience in case shutting down entire streets is necessary to put pressure on the school district, the Associated Press reported.

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