Aug 5, 2020 - Health

Chicago Public Schools to begin school year with fully remote classes

Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Chicago Public Schools will start the next school year with fully remote classes, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: CPS is the third-largest public school district in the country, serving 361,000 students in over 600 schools. The move will likely avoid a possible strike from the city's teachers union, which had called for the school year to start remotely.

The big picture: The development comes amid a nationwide debate about how to proceed with K-12 learning in the midst of a pandemic. Only five of the nation's 25 largest school districts in the country are planning any sort of in-person learning, the New York Times notes.

  • New York City is the nation's only major school system that will attempt in-person classes.

What they're saying: The decision was rooted "in public health data and the invaluable feedback we've received from parents and families," Lightfoot said.

  • "A win for teachers, students and parents," Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey tweeted Tuesday. "It’s sad that we have to strike or threaten to strike to be heard, but when we fight we win!"

Go deeper: What a day at school looks like in a pandemic

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