Oct 17, 2019

Chicago teacher strike keeps 300,000 students out of classes

Photo: Max Herman/NurPhoto/Getty Images

25,000 teachers are on strike in Chicago, the country's third-largest school district, and it's keeping about 300,000 students from the classroom, reports the Washington Post.

The big picture: This is the second time in 2019 that teachers in a large school district in the U.S. have gone on strike — "representing a wave of teacher activism that has swept the nation," writes the Post.

  • Teachers in Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest school system, went on strike earlier this year to demand better resources, per the Los Angeles Times.

Why it matters: This strike will be Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's first major mayoral test, notes the Washington Post. The strike has forced her to cancel classes, but she says Chicago cannot afford to fulfill the teachers' requests.

What they're demanding: The teachers are asking for capped class sizes, higher salaries, increased hiring of teacher's assistants and nurses, per the Post.

  • The teachers are also asking Chicago to address the housing crisis as thousands of students are homeless. So in addition to teaching the students, the teachers "often have to ensure their basic needs are being met," according to the Post.

Go deeper: No end in sight for nationwide wave of teacher strikes

Go deeper

America's massive teacher shortage is stunting student learning

Chicago public school teachers and their supporters picket on Oct. 17. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

There's a shortfall in education across the U.S., with more than 300,000 unfilled public teaching jobs needed to keep up with enrollment, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

Driving the news: 25,000 Chicago Public School teachers have been on strike for more than a week, asking for capped class sizes, higher salaries and more hiring capacity for teachers' assistants and nurses. The number of teachers picketing hit a 7-year high, according to BLS data.

Go deeperArrowOct 26, 2019

Chicago schools reach tentative agreement to end strike

Supporters of the teachers strike in Chicago, Oct. 23. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

Chicago public school teachers, who have been on strike since Oct. 17, fighting for reduced class sizes, more resources and a 15% raise over the next three years, reached a tentative agreement with the city on Thursday, AP reports.

Where it stands: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot committed to making up five days of canceled classes that resulted from the 11-day strike, AP reports. About 300,000 students and their teachers are expected to return to classrooms on Friday.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019

Companies experiment with ways to help teachers afford housing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A number of companies and educational institutions are trying to help teachers afford housing in communities that are dealing with skyrocketing prices that far exceed their paychecks.

Why it matters: Teacher salaries have not kept pace with rising housing costs, and several reports show new teachers are unable to afford rent in at least 50 major U.S. cities.

Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019