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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.

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.