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Chicago teachers prepare to teach their students remotely. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Chicago Teachers Union voted against returning to in-person learning despite the district's plan for K-8 students to return to classrooms on Feb 1, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: District officials have said that the union's decision to disobey the order to return to schools would violate the union’s collective bargaining agreement, which prohibits union members from striking. Union officials, however, say that teachers retuning to schools without being vaccinated would put them at greater risk of contracting the virus.

Driving the news: President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges, Axios' Kyle Daly writes. American students are falling behind due to remote learning yet inadequate contact tracing has made it harder to determine the risk of going back into classrooms.

Where it stands: Roughly 10,000 K-8 teachers from the nation’s third-largest school district are supposed to return to school on Monday to prepare for part-time in-school classes starting Feb. 1.

  • The district went fully remote last March because of the pandemic but has gradually welcomed students back.
  • Pre-K and special education students have started in-person instruction this month, and teachers who didn’t return to this model were punished.

What they're saying: The union is advocating for teachers and staffers to continue working from home until they have had at least the first of the two vaccines.

  • They argue that the district would be responsible for a work stoppage if it decides to punish teachers for staying home on Monday.

The other side: The district said it would begin vaccinating teachers and staff by mid-February but the process would take months.

Go deeper: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Go deeper

Jan 25, 2021 - Health

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.

Updated 50 mins ago - Health

GOP Rep. Clay Higgins says he has COVID for second time

Rep. Clay Higgins during a 2019 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) Sunday evening that he and his wife have contracted COVID-19 for a second time and "this episode is far more challenging."

Driving the news: "Becca and I had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was," he wrote in a Facebook post, confirming his son also has the coronavirus — which he described as a "biological attack weaponized virus."

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Team USA softball defeats Japan 2-1 in preview of gold medal match

Japan's Yamato Fujita held Team USA without a hit for the first five innings. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Despite failing to get a hit for the first five innings, the U.S. women's Olympic softball team managed to tie Japan in the sixth inning and win 2-1 in the seventh, thanks to a walk-off home run from Kelsey Stewart.

Why it matters: The same two teams, which were undefeated headed into Monday's game, will meet in the gold medal match scheduled for Tuesday evening Tokyo time.