Updated Jan 9, 2022 - Health

Chicago Public Schools' reopening remains in limbo as talks break down

A sign is displayed on the front of the headquarters for Chicago Public Schools on January 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Saturday jointly rejected the latest proposal from the Chicago Teachers Union in the ongoing dispute over whether remote learning should resume amid the latest surge in COVID cases fueled by the Omicron variant.

The latest: Lightfoot confirmed via Twitter Sunday evening that negotiations between the two sides are ongoing and that an agreement has not yet been reached.

Driving the news: Chicago Public School officials canceled classes last Wednesday and negotiations remain ongoing with the CTU over COVID-related safety measures, Axios' Monica Eng reports.

  • The union wants set safety metrics, time to test and high-quality masks for students and staff.

CTU shared an updated proposal Saturday in which remote learning would begin Wednesday and in-person classes would resume on Jan. 18.

  • Under the proposal, CTU members would return to schools Monday to pass out laptops to help students prepare for online courses.
  • CTU President Jesse Sharkey said Saturday that the new proposal “would solve all the outstanding issues, would give parents the clarity that we will begin instruction next week and begin in-person instruction on the 18th.”

The other side: "@CTULocal1 leadership, you’re not listening," Lightfoot said in a tweet Saturday.

  • "The best, safest place for kids to be is in school," Lightfoot said. "Students need to be back in person as soon as possible. That’s what parents want. That’s what the science supports. We will not relent."

What's next: CPS classes have been canceled for Monday unless a deal is reached this weekend.

Go deeper: Chicago Public Schools cancels classes after union votes to go remote

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